Commuting Cognition: MathFighter, Clicker Fred

What is this?

I’ve never been a big mobile game player, but I ended up working in a mobile games company, so I’ve been trying to expose myself to more games in this market and attempt to gain an ever-better understanding of them. One of the ways I’ve been doing that is in trying out new games, seeing what they do wrong and right, and try to draw conclusions from them that I can use in the future to make our games better. One of the resources I’ve been using for this is TouchArcade (not sponsored), and their columns listing the new iOS games of the week.

This resulted in me playing a lot more new games during my daily bus rides, but I also feel the need to discuss them somewhere and keep a log of my thoughts instead of just internalizing them. So, Commuting Cognition. These will be brief, bus-ride-long thoughts on these games, and should be seen less as reviews and more as first impressions. They also may not be daily, depending on how full the bus is that day.



MathFighter is a simple math game, skinned as a knight fighting off enemy soldiers. It’s a cute idea, but there’s not much to it.

From the screenshots showing off the complexity of the math i thought at first that the game was aimed at kids, but the way you get quickly overwhelmed by enemies and start to panic it feels a little intense for that target audience (also the negative numbers, i don’t remember how early we’re taught those?) This constant intensity also means you never really get a chance to look at the battle screen, which lessens the novelty of that.

Once you die you immediately get an interstitial ad before even realising what happened, which feels pretty awful. There’s also a permanent ad on top of the screen, covering the settings button, so good luck getting to that. Paired with the complete lack of extra content, the game really doesn’t do much to ingratiate itself.

Clicker Fred

Clicker Fred is a clicker game, using an endless runner that plays itself as visualisation of your progress. You collect characters named Fred who perpetually run forward, dodging traps and collecting coins.

As is the norm for the genre, there’s a ton of different stuff to buy with the coins you collect, most of which just allow you to collect coins faster. The Freds can also collect chests; common chests can be open immediately but rarer chests require additional keys to open, which feels needlessly obnoxious if you ask me, especially if you only get coins after opening them.

The most notable addition i spotted was a button to toggle how many upgrades to do at once: 1, 10, 100, etc., with the most interesting option being however many your current coin balance can afford. At the end of the day it’s really just another clicker game, so if that’s your thing you might find it appealing.

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