The Open University and UK Mathematics Trust have teamed up to launch Perplex, a mobile app containing mathematical puzzles and games. It’s available for iPhone and Android, and can also be played directly on their website.
The description promises 8 main puzzles and over 40 daily challenges to keep you occupied, and with the mobile versions it’s also possible to share your scores and compete against your friends. It looks to be a fairly pretty game, with fun cartoony graphics and (thankfully muteable) music. It seems like exactly the kind of thing my friends and I got hooked on to distract ourselves from work while we were at uni.
The puzzle games cover various different areas of maths – including colouring problems, arithmetic challenges, and variants of classic river-crossing puzzles. Some will be pretty familiar already to fans of Henry Dudeney puzzles or Simon Tatham’s games, but for anyone who hasn’t seen this kind of thing before it should be a nice introduction – and even if you have, they’re still fun to play.
Sadly, the game has limited content, at least for now – the ‘daily challenges’ will presumably be added daily, and further puzzles are promised, but as it stands there’s only one version of each type of puzzle, and your challenge is to complete each in the most efficient way to earn all three stars. Given that it’s a free game, I’d say that’s still good value, but it would surely be easy enough to generate more versions of each?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I still haven’t got three stars on the bubbles one…