All About the Game - Math in the Game

Math in the Game

The mathematics embedded in the game is a core part of any pre-algebra curriculum, based on key standards that guide mathematics curriculum throughout the nation. Lure of the Labyrinth's exploration of number relationships is complex and intriguing, and accessible to all mathematical thinkers.

  • The mathematical thinking begins when players encounter the maps in each wing. These maps are game-playing clues. Students need to solve them to find out where you are supposed to go the game. To do that, they have to look at the relationships demonstrated there and find the sequence.

    In the proportions wing, the map shows a missing 'target' room (marked by a star), surrounded by rooms with letters and numbers. Players can either use an equation or their sense of number relationships to solve for an answer.

    For example, this might be a clue map your students encounter in the Proportions wing:

    Students might use their number sense to see that they are dealing with multiples of 6, looking for the room before F30 (5 x 6). That would be 4 (1 before 5 or 3 before 7) x 6, or room F 24. Already, they are thinking about number relationships in a way that helps prepare them for the puzzles they will encounter in this wing.

    The equations used might look like this:

    42-30 = 12
    12/2 = 6 (to find the distance between each room)
    30-6 = 24

  • The mathematical thinking continues in each of the puzzles. Each puzzle arrives with its own set of variables - and each player gets a different set of numbers to work with. To solve the puzzle successfully, players have to find a strategy that works for them.

    For example, this puzzle is typical of those found in the Proportions wing:

    In this puzzle, students must fill each monster's tray with food items by selecting a food item and indicating the amount. They can do this by comparing the numbers assigned to the food items that are already there. For example, they can look at the relationship of sushi to turkey leg on the tray on the far right. The relationship is 4:16, or 1:4. This relationship holds in the middle tray as well. So, they can build on this relationship to find the number of sushi on the first and second trays from the right. They could also look at the relationship between slop and sushi as well.

    But there are many more ways students can work towards a solution. They will know immediately whether it works or not by the way the monsters react. Plus, they are not working against time. They can work as long as they want to, replaying until they succeed.
 You can find explanations of the mathematics behind every puzzle in the Resources for Planning section.  

More about the Math in the Game
  • The math in Lure of the Labyrinth maps to a wide range of specific content and process standards. And we anticipate that you'll find even more standards that apply to Lure of the Labyrinth once you start using the game with your students.
  • While each of the puzzles focuses on specific aspects of the pre-algebra curriculum (with substantial overlap), Lure of the Labyrinth has been designed to also help students develop their problem-solving skills and systems thinking.
  • Lure of the Labyrinth has been designed to help students use the scientific method of gathering information and making and testing hypotheses until they find the solution to a problem. This can take a good deal of time. Students may need to make multiple attempts before they figure out how to solve a puzzle. That is to be expected - the gamer generation is used to this process, and students' extra efforts will actually help to reinforce their learning.
  • Students have to solve each level of Lure of the Labyrinth's puzzles three times before they can move on to the next, more advanced level of that puzzle. This required repetition once again reinforces learning. And it encourages students to develop repeatable strategies (rather than just always hoping for a lucky guess).
  • The variables in each puzzle are randomly generated so students cannot share 'correct' answers. Students can, however, share strategies for solving the puzzles while playing Lure of the Labyrinth. And as you know, communicating about the learning they're doing helps students to both solidify and deepen that learning.