Math — it's something that we all either love or hate. Personally, even though I'm Asian, I never considered math as my strong suit because I naturally prefer words! Still, I enjoy seeing games out there that encourage players to use their heads and think outside the box. Math and Sorcery for iOS is one of those games.
Story and setting
Like many other RPGs, Math and Sorcery takes place in a fantasy world. You'll quickly discover that the story starts off with the cleverly named Count Mathula, who has stolen the almighty book of Math and Sorcery. Once this happens, naturally, only you have the power to go forth and fight various creatures of darkness in order to reclaim it.
The game world itself consists of many different areas, starting off with the inside of a medieval library. But the library is just one part of the island, as you'll have other places to explore, such as the forest and the beach, eventually reaching the castle of Count Mathula.
The charm of the game is captured through the pixel art, which harkens back to RPGs on the classic consoles.
I found the gameplay of Math and Sorcery rather unique, as it takes similar concepts from other games like Match Land, but puts its own spin on the combat system.
Each area has a set of chapters and levels, along with a primary math operation focus. On each stage, you'll find several waves of enemies that stand before you, and they must all be defeated before it's considered cleared. You earn up to three stars on each stage as well by beating it in a certain number of turns. You're able to loot stages without having to fight again if you got three stars previously.
As each wave approaches, you cast spells by solving math equations quickly. First, select a target by tapping on the enemy. You can select multiple foes at once, which increases the damage multiplier, but it also means harder math problems to solve.
For example, in the library area, you need to add. So if you only pick one target, you need to figure out the sum of two digits. If you select two targets, you'll find the sum of three digits. The more enemies you pick, the harder the math problem, but the more damage you do.
Once you pick your targets, you'll tap on the "Attack" button and a timer starts. The game only gives you about five seconds to solve as many equations as you can. If you mess up, you lose a multiplier.
Keeping an eye on the number above each enemy's an important thing to remember. This number lets you know how many turns you're able to make before the enemy makes their move.
If you've taken some damage and need to heal up, select a potion between turns rather than attacking. Keep in mind that you only have so many potions, so remember to stock up on them when needed.
As you play, you'll unlock more companions who accompany you on your journey. Companions are former heroes that Count Mathula turned into animals. However, as they join you, they'll provide you with bonuses, such as increased luck, more damage, and more. To increase their level for more potent effects, you need to feed them with food items that you earn from looting stages.
The only super annoying thing with Math and Sorcery is how frequently the ads play, which seem to be after every round or so. If you get one of the mana potion bundles in the in-app purchases, you remove ads, which may be worth it, depending on how much you enjoy the game.
Visual and audio design
Math and Sorcery falls into the category of "cute and charming" pixel art style games that have grown in popularity over the years.
With Math and Sorcery, players end up finding themselves in an adorable fantasy world made up of pixels and bright, vivid visuals. The character sprites for you, your companions, and the enemies are adorable and bouncing with life.
As far as audio, Math and Sorcery has a rather soothing and whimsical soundtrack. Personally, I hear a lot of piano during the menus and the battle music reminds me a bit of Harry Potter. I found the sound effects rather fun, and the audible alert when you're low on health is a great reminder to heal up.
So far, I must say I like the interesting mashup that Math and Sorcery brings to the table. I'm not a huge math fan, so I consider this challenging, but it's fun. I definitely see this as a way to make math seem more interesting to younger kids especially.
However, I see the timer adding much more stress than needed for a game like this — even as an adult, I'm struggling with only having five seconds to add up three numbers! I think the timer should be a bit longer because five seconds is barely enough time for some problems.
Due to the timer, I found the game to be a bit grindy, because you'll want to replay easier stages for experience to level up. As you gain levels, your spells do more damage and you have more health to absorb hits.
However, if you don't mind a bit of a grind and enjoy math and RPG battles, then Math and Sorcery's worth a look.
Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.
By Tammy Rogers