Math Gran Prix

Math Gran Prix
Company: Atari
Model #:
Suki Lee
Year: 1982

"Edutainment".  The word that strikes fear in the heart of every classic gamer.  When video games started to gain popularity parents worried that they would rot their children's minds, so some clever programmer started a nasty trend in games called Edutainment.  The concept was that if you slipped math or word problems into a video game you could teach children without them knowing it.  The problem was that children always knew when games were educational, only the parents were fooled.  Atari released several Edutainment games in hopes of appeasing worried parents and giving them a reason to buy their kid an Atari.  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), these games sold poorly in comparison with their real game cousins and Atari eventually stopped producing them. Math Gran Prix is one of the few Edutainment titles that actually manages to pull off the difficult combination of fun yet educational gameplay.


Math Gran Prix is a math powered racing game, where each player must correctly answer a math problem to advance a chosen number of spaces (2 or 3). The thing that saves MGP from being another mind-numbingly boring edutainment game is the strategy involved. The number of spaces you select is important because it can either help you gather power-ups or get you crashed on the side of road. Starting after the first turn if your opponent stops on the same square, your car is smashed into the grass; this means you lose a turn and your opponent moves ahead. If you plan it correctly, you can land on one of the power-ups scattered across the road (the blobs in the road). The "x" gives you another turn, the "i" moves you forward a random number of spaces (1 to 4), and the "n" allows you and your opponent to occupy the same space.


While it may not be mind-blasting fun, Math Gran Prix is a fairly decent math/strategy game. The only flaw I've found is that the computer never seems to answer a question wrong. This could frustrate younger players whose math skills aren't perfect (which was the audience this game was aimed at). The math range is pretty decent, covering addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. On the highest level there are some problems that even make me have to stop and think a bit.


Version Cart Text Description
?????? MGP Final Version


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