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Computer Science Department

Number Storm: An Educational Game for the iPhone

Thomas Pappas

I am designing an application for the iPhone's iOS mobile operating
system. It will be an educational game targeted for children ages
6-10 called 'Number Storm'. It will focus on improving users' quick
thinking with simple arithmetic. The game's storyline is that the
user is a sailor who encounters a storm at sea that begins to flood
their boat. In order to keep from sinking and ultimately outlast
the storm, the user must answer simple arithmetic problems quickly
to make their character scoop water out of the boat faster than the
storm floods it. These problems will be generated at random and the
user will answer them using a number pad provided on the screen.
The application will employ a level-stage based gameplay experience,
much like that used in Angry Birds and other popular mobile games.
The levels will have increasingly heavy rainfall and each stage
within each level will confront the user with increasingly longer
storm durations, each of which will make surviving the storm more
difficult. As users play each stage they will receive points based
on number of questions answered correctly, number of consecutive
correct answers, and other skill-based factors. At the end of each
stage the user will be rewarded a ranking based on points accumulated
during that stage. At the end of each level users will then be
rewarded an overall level ranking based on the completion of that
level's stages. The user must complete each stage and level in order
to unlock later levels and their first stage and eventually progress
to the hardest setting. Throughout the game users will have the
opportunity to collect upgrades and power-ups that add an unpredictable
twist to their experience. These will occur in one of two ways:
either upon completion of a certain stage/level or randomly within
each stage. Upon completion of the final level's final stage users
unlock special playing modes that allow custom gameplay manipulation
for higher playability.