Pythagoria – What We Think:
Making a game out of a core mathematical concept feels both fresh and rare in the world of puzzle games. Even if puzzle games often use mathematical rules to solve them, I’d never encountered one not only focused solely on one of most famous rules, but with no extra visuals, making it expressly about solving the problems. Pythagoria from indie developer Vladimir Maslov proves that the line between casual game and school assignment can be made thin.
Old School Puzzle Solving
Pythagoria is about one thing and one thing only: solving puzzles. There is no story behind it all, no added visuals to make it more exciting…only a screen with geometrical figures with measures. You’ll need to calculate the measurement that is missing.
This is, of course, done with the Pythagorean theorem. All answers will range from one to nine, making the process of solving a puzzle as simple as just clicking the right answer. To help you, you have a pen that you can use to paint anywhere on the screen to help you calculate the answer.
This is all surrounded by a great soundtrack that is both soothing and engaging without being stressful in any way. If you get an answer wrong, you will hear a beep and then be able to input your next answer directly afterwards. If you get it right, you will move on.
Pythagoria comes without a score system, making it a friendly and casual game in spite of its sharp edges (pun). While this is a fresh breeze among all the hysteria of online scoreboards puzzle games have a tendency to include, it also creates a situation where you can randomly click your way to success.
Having the opportunity to randomly click an answer without being punished for it is very tempting when you are completely stuck on a puzzle. This dilemma also makes Pythagoria unique, since the puzzle-solving becomes both about using your brain fully and having great discipline and self-control.
Pythagoria is simple when it comes to the visuals, and that really helps the game. Leaving everything behind and only focusing on the puzzle ahead makes you fully engage with it. The white and blue design evokes solving the puzzle on a paper and heightens its immersive quality, since most people have a history of doing math on paper.
One thing that works both for and against Pythagoria is that you never really know if you are playing a fun casual game or doing school homework. Solving these math problems with no reward other than the satisfaction of completing them, together with the game’s easy-going graphics, can at times lean towards the drudgery of teacher’s assigments. While this is fun on its own – given that you like solving these kinds of problems – it would be well suited to use in education.
School’s Out For Summation
It is hard to sum up Pythagoria and give it a grade, since I still do not know whether at its core it is truly a casual game or an educational one to use in schools. Even if these two of course can – and should – intersect in many ways, it may likely fare better as a fun educational game. Still, this can be a great and relaxing puzzler that suits everyone who loves relatively easy math problems and geometry or likes a gentle brain workout. Any math teachers with students learning about the Pythagorean theorem should try using this in their curriculum.
Watch the Steam greenlight trailer for Pythagoria below: