The Devil’s Calculator Review

Welcome to this week’s edition of Five Dollar Dives, where I will be reviewing the game The Devil’s Calculator.

If you love math, then The Devil’s Calculator is for you. If math is not your thing, then this game is likely going to be a pass for you. I wanted to give this game a try as most educational games tend to fall flat. I was hoping that this game would ignite my personal interest in mathematics, but I think a passionate teacher would be able to do that much more effectively.

There is a story to the game, but it was something I did not find myself paying strong attention to. I was more interested in the math problems the game presented to me. However, I will give it this; it has a plot! That was something I was not expecting going in.

Sitting in class, it is time for me to write a test.

Game… play?

There isn’t really gameplay to speak of. You are basically punching digits into a calculator and observing the result. Your goal is the make the answer 666. The challenge comes in with how you get to 666. You run your input through an unknown calculation, which may add, subtract, multiply or divide your input or do several of those at once. Type in your number, press the unknown calculation and hit equals an answer will be presented to you, so it is a math problem at this point.

The math problems presented had me pulling out a pen and paper. I did enjoy a few of them, but I also found myself quickly feeling bored. Then I hit level 11, this one was a bit of a doozie and had me scratching my head for a long while. Unfortunately, it frustrated me to the point where I ended up putting the game down. I was hoping to have a eureka moment, but it still has yet to happen.

The game offers up a graph that you can use to help you determine what type of function you may be dealing with. To avoid getting technical and boring you, it can help you decide where to start looking for an answer.

The game will throw a curve ball at you but preventing you from being able to use certain buttons. The buttons will be on fire, and you will hear the crackling of wood as you work on the problem. This can be a curse, but it also can be a gift in disguise, showing you where you may need to look for answers.

The #5 button on the calculator is on fir and is unable to be pressed
Cannot use the #5 button for this problem.

The game also includes links to Wolfram Alpha and Desmos. It is appreciated that you have those tools available to you.

Technical notes

The game only runs in a window. However, this is the kind of game where you may want to be able to quickly pick up and put down.

Final Thoughts

The game looked exciting at first. It still has an interesting idea behind it, but I cannot give a general recommendation to this game. I want more people to be interested in mathematics, but I do not believe this game will accomplish that on a grand scale. If it does manage to get a few people interested in math, then I will say it has achieved its mission. I will probably come back to this game and attempt to progress further.

Store Page: The Devil’s Calculator

Developer/Publisher:  Christopher Cinq-Mars Jarvis

Release Date: Jan 28, 2019

Price: 2.39$ USD

Time Played: 1.8 Hours

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