Math Games for Wiiby Dan KetchumUpdated September 22, 2017
With its ultra-streamlined motion controller and intuitive interface, Nintendo's Wii focuses on inclusive gameplay; its large library expands beyond traditional gaming genres to include plenty of self-improvement titles for all ages, including numerous math games. While all of these games earn an “Early Children” or “Everyone” rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board, each one focuses on different age groups, ranging from pre-schoolers to adults.
The Little Ones
Recommended for ages 3 to 5, Sesame Street: Cookie's Counting Carnival teaches small children counting and number recognition using familiar characters such as Cookie Monster and Big Bird. For an extra-enticing touch for toddlers, it includes a fuzzy, Muppet-like Wii Remote sleeve. Available for digital download via WiiWare, the Learning with the Pooyoos series focuses on the same age group, featuring a simple and strictly visual interface. The Pooyoos games teach basic counting, as well as colors and shapes.
The Elementary Years
Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math spans five different games on WiiWare, ranging from The Lady Liberty Larceny to The Island of Diamonds. These titles cater to grades 3 to 5, incorporating Mathematics Common Core State Standards and covering topics such equations, angles, graphs and fractions. While Carmen touts a text-based adventure, JumpStart's Escape from Adventure Island for kids aged 5 to 9 wraps math, reading and critical thinking exercises in a 3D adventure package. The Amazing Brain Train! for WiiWare presents elementary schoolers with logic puzzles and mini-games that encourage quick addition and multiplication skills.
For the Family
Nintendo's own Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree encourages friendly competition with its 8-player multiplayer mode. It features accessible one-button controls and educational games in Compute, Analyze, Memorize, Visualize and Identify categories, with Compute focusing on math exercises. Similarly, thinkSMART Family includes 16-player matches with a selection of math games and memory, logic, three-dimensional reasoning, language comprehension and physical fitness challenges. On WiiWare, Brain Challenge encompasses multiple age groups with its Kid Test and Senior Test modes, both of which task players with a collection of 25 math, memory, logic, visual and focus-based mini-games. Each of these titles features custom Mii avatars, and each tracks and compares player progress.
Puzzlers and a Retro Option
If you prefer your math challenges in puzzle form, WiiWare's Sudoku Challenge offers thousands of classic nine-by-nine boards as well as Grand Sudoku, which combines five boards into one. Challenge Me: Brain Puzzles 2, a budget-priced disc option, contains a range of number-based puzzle games, such as Sudoku, Number Soup and Squares. Available for download on the Wii's Virtual Console service, the Nintendo Entertainment System's Donkey Kong Jr. Math combines DK Jr.'s vine-swinging gameplay with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.
- Nintendo: “Learning with the PooYoos -- Episode 1”
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: “Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math”
- JumpStart: “Escape from Adventure Island”
- Nintendo: “The Amazing Brain Train!”
- Nintendo: “thinkSMART Family”
- Gameloft: “Brain Challenge”
- Nintendo: “Sudoku Challenge”
- IGN: “Challenge Me: Brain Puzzles 2”
- "Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree"
- Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images