Game: The Answer is 42
Genre: Puzzle, Education, Board Game
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows and Mac))
Developer|Publisher: Mens Sana Interactive
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: US $2.99 | UK £2.69 | EU € 2,99
Release Date: April 6th, 2023
Review code provided with many thanks to Mens Sana Interactive.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Though it might seem like a weird title for a video game, The Answer is 42 is actually very appropriate. If you are a fan of Douglas Adams’ book the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the phrase will be very familiar to you. A bit of a backstory to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy from Wiki.
“A group of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings demand to learn the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything from the supercomputer Deep Thought, specially built for this purpose. It takes Deep Thought 7,5 million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be 42. Deep Thought points out that the answer seems meaningless because the beings who instructed it never knew what the question was.”
The Answer is 42 has become a bit of a geek phrase because of the books and is a widely known phrase. It has a bit of mystery attached to it, too, implicating that the number 42 is all around us at important moments in the World’s history. Just ask your Siri (or your own virtual assistant) what the meaning of life is. I tried, and sure, she responded, “the answer is 42.”
The Video Game
Anyway, back to the video game: you can see that the name isn’t just randomly chosen. Indeed, the puzzles you have to solve will all have 42 as their conclusion.
You get 100 puzzles, all grids with numbers that, when connected in groups, add up to 42. Sounds simple, right? And the first set of puzzles is indeed easy to solve, but after a while, they get harder. It was at the 49th puzzle that I stumbled on a roadblock for the first time. But I guess that’s not saying anything: you need to have an eye for numbers and be able to look ahead to the other numbers in the grid.
The Answer is 42 is a minimalist puzzle game. There is no timer, so you can take as long as you want. But you must find the solution before moving on to the next.
Find the Right Combinations
In every puzzle presented, you see coloured squares. These are the starting points, and from them, you make your string accumulate to 42. Lines cannot cross earlier laid lines, but they can use the same numbers that are in those lines to cross over. Every line will be the same colour as the squares, and when the puzzle is finished a little image is formed. Only to scroll off the page, and you’re onto a new puzzle.
Everything in the game is given a sci-fi feel. The clusters of puzzles are called names like The Guide; Time is an Illusion, How many Roads and so on. The puzzles slide in and out of the screen as if they are hovering in space. The background music is an intergalactic tune that fits the theme well.
You get 100 math puzzles to exercise your brain for a small price. The Answer is 42 is a minimalist game where you focus on the puzzle at hand. No timer, no scores to beat, just you and your goal to make coloured pathways that always accumulate to 42.
Is 42 the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything? I don’t know, but I do know this is a good math puzzle with no frills.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot