This game is as goofy as the title suggests.  You take on the role of a heroic Star Nerd, who must use the great and mighty power of arithmetic to summon allies and fight Space Treachery!

No, seriously, that’s what you do.

The game has two very unlikely pieces.  The core gameplay is a series of arithmetic puzzles.  Can you use addition, subtraction, and multiplication to turn a set of 8 numbers into the exact casting Integers demanded by your cards?  And, just as important, can you use up all your numbers ever turn, for the CalcuLord Bonus?  Units, once summoned, appear on a minimal 3-lane map, and gradually push their way towards the enemy base.  This aspect of the game has some depth as well, as there are all kinds of different units with different abilities which match up better or worse against different kinds of enemies.

Of course, you can customize both your deck of unit cards, and your deck of numbers, CCG style.  That’s the other half of the game.

I’ve just started dabbling in the game, but I’ve played enough to see that it works.  Against all odds, the game actually manages to be a lot of fun, enough to make me put up with puzzles.  I’m normally not a puzzle guy – just see my take on Incredipede.  Yet somehow, this works for me.

And, the designer is perfectly okay if you just use it to make kids practice math.  I would totally do that, if I had a kid.

CalcuLords is available on the iPad, and perhaps other mobile platforms as well.