Numbers League is a math game of heroic proportions in which students are working to rid Infinity City of a host of villains that menace the city's streets. Over the course of the game, players constructs a team of superheroes by playing cards onto the table in front of them. Body parts combine together to form superheroes, with the combined value of each of the parts making up the total value of the hero. So, a hero with a 4 value head, 2 value body and -1 value legs would make a hero with a total value of 5. There are also devices that players can add to a hero to permanently modify their value. So our 5 value hero with (+10) Jump Boots would now have a value of 15.
Once a player has a completed hero in front of them, they can start capturing villains by matching their value. At the start of the game, an array of villains are arranged on the table, each with a unique value. Students can use any or all of the heroes they have built in front of them during the course of the game to accomplish this. As players capture villains, they put them in their trophy pile along with any devices they used to capture them. Once the last villain has been captured the game is over. and the player with the most points in villains and accessories wins the game.
In addition to the base game which features positive and negative numbers, the Infinity Level Expansion Deck adds division as well as decimals to the math operations that are covered in the game. The designers have also taken the game digital, with an iOS implementation that allows one to four players to fight crime in Infinity City. While the iOS app features some small modifications to the basic game play mechanisms, players spin wheels and lock in body part values rather than play cards, the underlying fun and educational value are carried through.
Both formats have a very high Return on Investment. Game setup and introduction are not too difficult, allowing students to quickly get into game play and begin to think about basic math operations in a flexible, yet strategic way. As the game progresses, which villains are on the board at any given time prompt students to reflect on their heroes and how their values can be combined to reach the available villains still on the table. Additional challenges include the need to consider where to best play devices or what additional value heroes students can construct to give themselves more flexibility in their efforts to fight crime.
As for implementation, the fast play and small play space make Numbers League a great small group game and the low price point makes it easy for multiple copies to be purchased to accommodate a whole class. On the digital end, the iOS implementation has a fun game show nature as students lock in the spinning parts of their heroes which would make mirror play on a projector a rewarding experience for any class.