We just finished our 8-level prototype and tested it on 22 fourth graders this week. The results were amazing! The kids, aged 8-10 and a mixture of boys and girls, played the game for a full two hours. They needed very little help from us, and spent most of their time answering each others' questions about the math they were encountering. Specifically, some students knew more about primes and squares than others, and helped teach each other during gameplay.
The level of reaction was just unreal. We heard multiple random outbursts of "This is the most awesome game EVER!" and "Can I buy this?" When asked how many students would buy it at home, 18 of them raised their hands enthusiastically. Overall they loved Mathbreakers more than we could have anticipated. They even refused to leave for a 5 minute break halfway through the session -- a sign of true engagement.
What surprised us the most was how much gameplay time our levels provide. (none of them got past more than 2 levels during the full 2 hours). First, each section kept them quite busy; not only did they have to solve the math, they also had to think their way around our logic puzzles, which mainly consist of doing things in the right order to achieve the desired result.
But more than that, they just spent a lot of time playing with the different gadgets. Several times we heard "I got 500!" or "I got 6,352!" For some reason, getting big numbers is instantly gratifying, and kids often go out of their way to create them for no other reason.
They were all very excited to return for test session #2 next week.
All in all it was a smash success. We're looking forward to doing more testing! Contact us if you'd like to join in!