We created Numbers League as a fun math game for kids. It has been a marvel -- not because it has sold a gazillion copies, but because it has made a huge difference in the lives of the kids who have found it. As a self funded independent game, it has not made it into the mainstream, but we have inspired some very dedicated fans. Here is a link to the WIRED piece done when we released the iPad version of the game.
The Dinosaurs Expansion to Numbers League is NOT a standalone game. It is a 30 card expansion to the base Numbers League game.
If we consider the game successful, why do we need your help? As schools started using our game, they ran into a problem with the number of beginner players the base game accommodated. The base game can be played at two levels, hero and superhero, and while four can play at superhero level, hero level only supports two or at most three players.
Enter the Dinosaurs and Critters expansions. Unlike the Infinity Level expansion that makes the base game harder these are basic simple cards. It is great fun for a family to have a game with more than four players, but it was critical for schools to be able to expand the game to eight players. We printed a small prototype run of expansion decks in 2010, but they're almost gone. We want to continue to offer at least one of these expansions - this is where you come in.
We just completed a very successful campaign for our Extraordinary Voyages playing card deck. That has given us the financial confidence we needed to start this project. Those of you who were considering expanding or obtaining Numbers League for yourselves or for a special kid in your life, can get it here and, at the same time, allow us to print more expansion decks!
Levels of Difficulty and Game Play
The 120 card base game can be played at two different levels. Hero and Superhero. Dinosaurs and Critters are 30 card expansions that add more cards to hero level allowing for games with more players. Infinity Level expansion is a 60 card deck that increases the difficulty of the base game.
Hero Level: Basic addition and subtraction (ages 8 and up).
Superhero Level: Adds simple multiplication and negative numbers (ages 10 and up).
Infinity Level: Adds simple decimals and multiplication by negative numbers (ages 12 and up)
Game rules clan be found on the BentCastle web site.
Critters and Overfunding
The Critters Expansion is functionally similar to the Dinosaurs Expansion but with different art. With it, you could build a Feline Super Saurous or any number of ridiculous animal/dinosaur/superhero combinations. Needless to say, it would be like a dream for us to print both expansion decks. Also, funding beyond $10,000 would allow us to provide some very nice overfunding bonuses.
The Gift of Giving
When considering whether or not to support this campaign, there is an intangible that I want to try and explain. As a practice, we set aside a certain number of games to give away each year. There is a magic to a game given as a spontaneous act of kindness. Kids just cherish them more. Imagine when a learning tool is vaulted into "favorite new thing" status - it is then played with extra attention and enthusiasm. You see, Numbers League is sneaky: kids don't tend to realize it's a learning tool, and when given at the right moment to the right kid, we've watched it have an amazing impact. We love giving them away. If you want to witness this for yourself pick up an extra copy and give it away this holiday season and watch what happens.
Extras, Shipping and Turnaround
Rewards will ship no later than December 15th. To make this happen, we can't be as flexible as we've been with previous projects. To streamline, we're sticking to the rewards as listed. If you want additional rewards, like two Numbers League base games, just add the two rewards together and pledge that amount (in this case $32.00). Then in the survey we send out at the end of the campaign, tell use that the extra funds were for an additional copy of NL.
Press and a Plug
Here are some more quotes about the Numbers league App and Card Game. I also want to point you in the direction of a new book out called "Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st-Century Families".
USA Today "[Numbers League] does a masterful job of giving kids a reason to practice math facts. ... This is one of the best math games on the iPad."
Common Sense Media "Educational value: A+"
Media Macaroni "I thought it was going to be too complicated for Olive. ... When it came time for me to learn how to play, she taught me."
"What summer slump? My girl is headed into first grade with a primer in simple multiplication and negative numbers."
"I’d call this app a must-have for your elementary schooler."
"Not all educational apps are equal. And some are just so great, we sifted through a bunch and put together our favorite educational apps for grade schoolers and tweens. ... Numbers League is a total win from the comically awesome characters to the brain challenge it'll provide everyone from beginners to super-scholars."
"Numbers League improves on a masterpiece."
"Bent Castle Workshops has turned Numbers League, this fantastic superhero math card game, into an equally fantastic app that you can always have with you on your iPad."
"This phenomenal math app invites students into a comic book world that uses super heroes to fight evil number villains. ... The design of Number League is unlike the format of traditional algorithm on a worksheet and initially students may not realize they are practicing math facts."
(i Education Apps Review) "Whether you are 5 or 45, Numbers League will stimulate users both
educationally and emotionally."
"Whether you are a parent, educator or home schooler, the Numbers League is very applicable to you!"
EDU In Review
"The Numbers League app for iPads has used superhero powers to make basic math problems fun and entertaining, while also teaching children basic math skills."
"The different levels make it possible for both a five-year old child and a teenager to improve their math skills while having fun."
Risks and challenges
This project has very little risk. It is an expansion for a proven game that has already been prototyped. The printer we are using is in the US, and has guaranteed the job will be done on time. Lastly, we have great Kickstarter experience, and know what we need to do.
This is our 5th kickstarter project. Our first "Deck of the Living Dead" did not reach it's goal. The next two "Numbers League at the Museum of Play" and "Deck of the Living Dead" made there goals and have been delivered. Our latest "Deck of the Extraordinary Voyages" has made its goal but will be delivered late, our printer was unable to meet their deadline. While we did find a workaround that would get the deck done on time it would have altered the deck some. We put the choice to the community and they chose to wait the extra rather than have the deck altered. The new date is January 2013. We have taken steps with this project's printer to ensure that we will not run into the same problem.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (26 days)