A Tale of Synapse: The Chaos Theories is a puzzle platformer that incorporates math problems into the game play. The math problems are very basic so you don’t have to worry about them being difficult.
The game is a puzzle platformer at its core. It follows the Super Mario World formula of having an overworld map where you can select levels. The platforming for the levels are more puzzle oriented than skill based. You control a secondary character that can interact with the environment to solve puzzles and create new pathways. As a side note here, I play every game with keyboard and mouse and the controls work fairly well. Navigating the user interface does feel a bit awkward at times though.
The game does add a feeling of progression and more depth to the mechanics by letting you purchase skills and upgrades from orbs collected in the levels. These skills range from offensive skills like an aerial attack to more utility based skills like the one that lets you temporarily stun the enemies.
The combat and platforming segments are quite solid. Most of the logic based puzzle solving is great as well. The math segments however, are quite easy at the start of the game. It’ll only be challenging to those who haven’t taken an elementary level of mathematics. The game would serve as a fantastic learning tool in reinforcing what an elementary student may learn in class. The game doesn’t teach any mathematics so it’ll be quite difficult for someone who hasn’t learned any math and too easy for someone who has. Perhaps it’ll get more difficult as the game progresses but I haven’t played enough of the game to know one way or the other.
Overall, the game is a charming platformer that is semi educational as well. It’s great to see a game that incorporates something as mundane as mathematics in a way that is way more engaging than a textbook.