Review | Prime Division

Looking for a quick, fun number game?  This one looks like a PRIME candidate!  …I’ll see myself out.
Standard mode gives 4 numbers to choose from.

When I’m not playing games, writing about games, or being a masked vigilante secretly protecting you on your commute (you’re welcome), I’m a maths teacher.  I know, I know, but don’t hate me.  Because of that, I had something of an interest in this game about breaking numbers down into their prime factors.  It’s fun!  But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a mathematician or a masked vigilante to enjoy it.

For those of you who don’t know, prime factors are the prime numbers that can be used to form any larger number.  For example, 2,5, and 7 make 70 (by multiplying them together) whilst 2,2,3,11 make 132.  Prime Division gives you a number and challenges you to choose the prime numbers that make it up within a time limit.  So, if 50 appears on the screen, you will need to tap 5, 5 and 2 as quickly as possible to score points.  As you tap the numbers, the target number updates to help you keep track (you start with 50, tapping 5 changes it to 10, then 5 changes it to 2, then 2 to 1 meaning you win that round).  It sounds as though it should be boring, but the quick games lend themselves to that “one more go” mentality that many score chasing games do so well.

To keep things interesting, the game has a number of modes, including a rush mode (score as many points as you can in 60 seconds) and an absolutely evil Roman numerals mode.  Seriously, that one is brain melting when you get up to the higher numbers.  These modes unlock at a fairly quick rate as you play the game, ensuring you always have a fresh game mode to try your hand at.  Not bad at all for a free, ad-supported game.

Prime Division
Roman numerals mode! This is evil! So, so difficult.

Each round begins with fairly easy numbers before ramping up the difficulty.  It can be a touch irritating to have to play the easy numbers again when you restart, but because each round is very quick it doesn’t take long to get back to the challenging numbers,  The downside in terms of the game’s challenge is that you can begin to recognise the numbers and know the answer instantly rather than having to think quickly and puzzle them out.  The latter levels do throw a lot of different numbers at you though (how well do you know your 17 times table?) so it’s really only the early stages that have this issue.

The UI is good looking for a simple game, with nice soft colours and assets that don’t crowd the screen making it harder to play than it needs to be.  Each stage presents itself as though you are flicking through flashcards as you complete each number and has a nice little animation as you move from one to the other.  The sound is functional with some nice music in the background, although I found the sound effects a touch irritating after a while.  Obviously the sounds can be switched off and aren’t really the main draw of the game.

It should be noted that this game is a rather good way of learning division if that’s of interest and it certainly would be a good revision tool for students in their run up to their maths exams.  I know that’s not really what most people play games for, but a revision tool that’s fun to use?  Those are rare enough and I commend Hypnotic Owl for managing to make something about my subject of choice fun!  For the low price of nothing, this is a fun little game that you can easily spend a few minutes on, and your local, friendly maths teacher recommends you do just that!

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