Each of the three wings includes three puzzles, and each of the puzzles has three levels. The levels progress from easy to hard. And, continuing with the “rule of three,” students have to successfully solve each puzzle three times before they can eliminate a room.
Today I am sharing an online maths game called Lure of the Labyrinth. It is set in a strange world populated by some very smelly monsters. If monsters are not your kind of creature, and computer games not to your liking, then this game may not be for you! But if they are… you could learn a lot of maths while having fun…
We first came across this game on the website Brainpop. Only part of the game is available to play here. Later I discovered that there is an external link with free access to the whole of the game. All you need do is set up a free account and you can start playing.
The first thing I noticed about the game is there are no how-to-play instructions. I had to work that bit out for myself. This took me quite a long time to do. In contrast, my girls sorted it all out, left me behind and went steaming ahead with the game.
There’s a story behind the game: your much loved pet has gone missing in this strange monster-inhabiting world and you have to find it. Your only help is a bean-loving girl with wings. Along the way, the monsters force you to do some pretty crazy jobs. Will you rescue your pet in time?
There is a lot of information about the game on the website including a section for educators. Here’s the introduction to the game, and its description from this section:
Lure of the Labyrinth is a digital game for middle-school pre-algebra students. It includes a wealth of intriguing math-based puzzles wrapped into an exciting narrative game in which students work to find their lost pet – and save the world from monsters! Linked to both national and state mathematics standards, the game gives students a chance to actually think like mathematicians.
In the world of Lure of the Labyrinth, students progress through three sections, or “wings.” Each is related to a different math strand that is part of a the typical pre-algebra curriculum:
Proportions (including fractions and ratios)
Variables and Equations
Number and Operations (including geometry, order of operations and modular arithmetic)
We haven’t played our way through the whole of the game so I cannot tell you everything about it. Enter the site at your own risk! So saying that, we enjoyed what we experienced and I was impressed by the amount of thinking we had to do in order to proceed through the levels. It is not just a case of solving a mathematical problem and moving on. First the mathematical problem has to be identified.
The website is very detailed with information about lesson plans and other education resources, a game handbook, a section about the plot and the characters, information for families… even a library with articles on gaming and the role it plays in modern education.
So if this sounds like a fun way to learn and practise maths, take a look.
And if computer games are not for you, then that’s OK. I’m sure I’ll share some non-computer based maths resources another time!