Game Guide: Pinata Fever

Updated 4 months ago by Michelle

CURRICULUM AREAS COVERED

Ages 9-14

  • Extending the number line
  • Adding negative numbers
  • Adding and subtracting negative numbers

HOW TO PLAY

Use your number line addition and subtraction skills to travel towards a piñata and smash it!

  1. Piñatas appear randomly along the top of the screen and start to descend toward the number line
  2. Click on the number line at the position of the descending piñata
  3. Maths question appears at the bottom of the screen
  4. Answer the question using the keypad on the right.

If you answer:

  • correctly - you see the hero walk to your chosen position. From here, click anywhere on the screen to jump towards the piñata to smash it! Watch the strike meter to maximise your jump!
  • incorrectly - you see the hero walk to the incorrect position, shake their head, and then move back to their original position - costing you precious time.

Strike meter - appears over the hero’s head. Click anywhere on the screen to stop the meter and make your hero jump to smash the piñata. Get your timing right and aim to stop in the green zone:

  • red zone - you miss the strike, wasting time. But don’t worry you can try again!
  • yellow zone - you whack the piñata, earning you points and candy.
  • green zone - you smash the piñata’s critical ‘Sweet Spot’, winning you points and even more candy. Sometimes you also make a special Gift Box fly out

In this maths game you’re the host of a crazy piñata party. To keep the party pumping you need to keep the candy jar topped up – and the only way to get more candy is by smashing piñatas!

Gift Boxes and Power-Ups - If you hit a piñata’s ‘Sweet Spot’ (i.e. stop the strike meter in the green zone), sometimes you will see a Gift Box fly out and land on the number line.

To collect a Gift Box you simply move the hero to its position. The box then opens automatically to reveal a present ranging from bonus points to power-ups:

  • ×1 Bonus – Points equivalent to the current stage’s piñata score
  • ×2 Bonus – Points equivalent to the current stage’s piñata score × 2
  • ×3 Bonus – Points equivalent to the current stage’s piñata score × 3
  • ×5 Bonus – Points equivalent to the current stage’s piñata score × 5
  • Magic Trainers – Increases the hero’s movement speed for a few moments
  • Shockwave – Pushes all piñatas in view back up toward the top of the screen
  • Super Striker – Temporarily improves the hero’s accuracy, making it easier to hit piñatas
  • Cold Snap – Freezes the piñatas for a few moments, stopping them descending.

The present you receive is chosen randomly. However, the fancier the Gift Box, the more valuable the present inside.

To get fancier Gift Boxes, you need to hit multiple Sweet Spots in a row. Each time you hit a Sweet Spot, the gauge in the top-right corner of the screen fills by one, meaning that your next Gift Box will be even better.

But be warned: as the gauge fills, the strike meter gets faster too! If you miss a piñata or perform a ‘normal’ smash (i.e. stop the strike meter in the yellow zone), the gauge resets.

El Nibblo - If a piñata gets too close to the number line it will be stolen by El Nibblo, the notorious sweet-toothed piñata thief, and you lose precious candy.

SCORING INFORMATION

There are 3 modes in this game. Complete the relevant mode and beat the Target Score to earn a medal (Bronze, Silver, Gold).

  • Mode 1: Extending the number line >> Finish the game + beat the Target Score >>> 8,000 (B), 20,000 (S), 40,000 (G)
  • Mode 2: Adding negative numbers >> Finish the game + beat the Target Score >>> 12,000 (B), 30,000 (S), 60,000 (G)
  • Mode 3: Adding and subtracting negative numbers >> Finish the game + beat the Target Score >>> 16,000 (B), 40,000 (S), 80,000 (G)

Scoring calculation

On each Stage the score for each piñata smashed is calculated as:

Example 1: You play Mode 1 (Mode Multiplier = 1) and reach Stage 16 (Stage Number = 16), but have not looped the game (Loop = 0). So your score for each piñata smashed = {50 + 20 × (16 + 24 × 0)} × 1 = 50 + 20 × 16 = 370 points.

Example 2: You play Mode 3 (Mode Multiplier = 3) and reach Stage 8 (Stage Number = 8) having looped the game once (Loop = 1). So your score for each piñata smashed = {50 + 20 × (8 + 24 × 1)} × 3 = {50 + 20 × 32} × 3 = 2,070 points.

After each game, your best score is recorded automatically.

Within each Mode there are 24 individual Stages to progress through. On each Stage the number line varies to make the maths gradually harder. The higher the Stage, the more points you earn for each piñata smashed, enabling good players to rack up really high scores!

Answer the maths problems correctly and consistently to move up through the Stages. The fewer errors you make, the faster you progress to the higher Stages and the more points you can make.

Get relegated to a lower stage if you’re consistently wrong – which is good for letting you practise and improve your maths skills, but not so good for your score!

‘Loop’ the game if you’re a fantastic player – move past Stage 24 and return to the earlier Stages. When this happens the game becomes faster and tougher, so don’t get complacent! Each time you loop the game, an asterisk (*) appears after the Stage number.

MATHS STRATEGIES

The maths problems take the form of either A + ? = B or A - ? = B, where A is the hero’s current position on the number line, B is the position you want the hero to move to, and ? is the value you need to input.

Mode 1 Strategies: Adding/Subtracting Positive Numbers

  • When moving to the right all problems are A + ? = B (? is always a positive number)
  • When moving to the left all problems are A - ? = B (? is always a positive number).
  • Solving the problems by counting the gap: When solving a problem, you could start by looking at where your character is standing. Next, count how far it is to the piñata you want to smash or gift you want to grab. Your number line might be marked in 1s so count 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. But some number lines go in 2s or 5s so you might need to count 2, 4, 6, 8, etc, or 5, 10, 15, 20, etc. Once you work out how far your character has to travel, you know what size number you need to enter.
  • Solving problems by counting on: When solving a problem, you may need to move your character to the right. This means counting on (adding) from the position you are standing at. For example: -3 + ? = 5. You can solve this problem in your head by ‘counting on’. Start by counting on 3 more from -3 to give -3 + 3 = 0. This gets you to zero. Then think of counting on 5 more to give 0 + 5 = 5. So all together you added on 3 and 5 to give 8. So -3 + ? = 5 becomes -3 + 8 = 5.
  • Solving problems by counting back: When solving a problem, you may need to move your character to the left. This means counting back (subtracting) from the position you are standing at. For example: 4 - ? = -3. You can solve this problem in your head by ‘counting back’. Start by counting back 4 from 4 to give 4 - 4 = 0. This gets you to zero. Then think of counting back 3 more to give 0 - 3 = -3. So all together you subtracted 4 and 3 to give 7. So 4 - ? = -3 becomes 4 - 7 = -3.

Mode 2 Strategies (Advanced): Adding/Subtracting Positive Numbers

  • When moving to the right all problems are A + ? = B (? is always a positive number)
  • When moving to the left problems are either: A - ? = B (? is a positive number), or… A + ? = B (? is a negative number)
  • In Mode 2 there are two ways to move your character to the left, that is, to perform a subtraction. For example: if you want to move from position 4 to position -3, you might have to solve this problem [4 - ? = -3] or this problem [4 + ? = -3]. To solve 4 - ? = -3 you need to know that you subtract 7 to get from 4 to -3. So the answer is 4 - 7 = -3. To solve 4 + ? = -3 you need to know that adding (-7) is the same thing as subtracting 7. So the answer is 4 + (-7) = -3.

Mode 3 Strategies (Advanced): Adding/Subtracting Positive and Negative Numbers

  • When moving to the right problems are either: A + ? = B ? is a positive number), or… A - ? = B ? is a negative number).
  • When moving to the left problems are either: A - ? = B (? is a positive number), or… A + ? = B (? is a negative number).
  • In Mode 3 there are two ways to move your character to the right, that is, to perform an addition. For example: if you want to move from position -2 to position 3, you might have to solve this problem [-2 + ? = 3] or this problem [-2 - ? = 3]. To solve -2 + ? = 3 you need to know that you add 5 to get from -2 to 3. So the answer is -2 + 5 = 3. To solve -2 - ? = 3 you need to know that subtracting (-5) is the same thing as adding 5. So the answer is -2 - (-5) = 3.

OTHER BASIC STRATEGIES

  • Generally you should aim to smash the lowest piñatas first. However, if you’re starting to get swamped and running all over the place then it may be wise to sacrifice a piñata or two so you can catch your breath and plan a new strategy
  • If you have several piñatas descending together in a row, start at the left-most one and work your way right – this will mean you get easier maths
  • The fancier the gift box, the better the present inside. So if you have several gift boxes to choose from, go for the fanciest-looking one first
  • If a gift box starts flashing, that means it’s about to disappear. If you haven’t started moving yet to collect the box, probably best to forget it – unless you’re super-fast, chances are you won’t reach it before it disappears.

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