Games are traditionally seen as dumbing us down, but not all games are equal…

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One woman believes so. Amanda Pike, a wife and mother from Mississippi, contacted me recently. She was super-happy to have reached the final and most difficult level of Smart Numbers, a math-based puzzle game.

‘Ain’t no dumb ass gonna beat this game’ she proclaimed, and indeed she’s right — Smart Numbers is a tougher-than-usual mobile phone game requiring the basic math skills of addition, subtraction, mutliplication and division, but above all, logical thinking. Its like sudoku on steroids — a ‘Candy Crush for smart people’ if you will.

“I want to thank you for giving me this game so I could feel good about myself because I promise ain’t no dum ass gonna beat this game” — Amanda Pike. …

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My girlfriend, Hélène, is a self-employed nail technician, working at a salon in Montreal. Before meeting me she had no prior interest in gaming. Yet her help has lead to my first mobile game being featured by Apple under ‘New Games We Love’ in over 100 countries, having 4.5 stars from over 600 ratings, and enjoying an average engagement of 40 minutes every day per player! (It’s called Smart Numbers.

Let’s back-up. In summer of 2015 I was prototyping a game idea that fused crosswords with sudoku — I thought of it as ‘Candy Crush for Smart People’. I was working alone with no team around me to validate the idea or solicit feedback. Friends happily offered opinions, but friendships naturally suppress critique and inflate praise. …


Chris Gibbs

Lifelong game maker on a mission to uplift your downtime

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