The New York Times has announced a new math-based puzzle game, Digits, and you can play the beta test right now at this link.
In Digits, you’re given six numbers that you can add, subtract, multiply, or divide together to reach a goal number. You’re not just limited to those six numbers; you can, for example, multiply two of the numbers together and then add that total to one of the others. You get three stars if you reach the exact goal number, but if you’re close, you’ll get one or two stars.
Take the below picture from The New York Times. This person was given the starting numbers of 4, 9, 7, 10 (based on the computation at the top), 1 (also in the computation), and 20, and they are trying to total them up to 235. The player chose to subtract 1 from 10, leading to the 9 you see in that green circle. They can now use that 9 with one of the other numbers to try and get to 235.
I’ve played all five of Monday’s Digits puzzles, and while I only got three stars with the first, I really enjoyed trying to get as close to the goal number as possible. And I like that you can still “win” even if you don’t get exactly to the total; part of the reason I dropped Wordle was because I felt pressure to get the word exactly right. (Digits also has a subtle but satisfying animation when you combine numbers that reminded me of games like Threes and 2048.)
That said, the Digits beta has been a little buggy. At first, I could only get the game to work properly in an incognito Chrome window; on my logged-in work Chrome browser, numbers wouldn’t properly combine until I refreshed the page, and on my phone, the game wasn’t registering any taps. Those issues are now fixed for me, so hopefully you don’t run into them.
An NYT article about Digits says the game will “be available this week for a limited-time beta release.” The results of the beta will determine if Digits will become a full-fledged NYT game. “If the response to the game isn’t what the team is hoping for, the [NYT’s greenlight] committee must decide whether further tuning would be helpful or if the development of the game should end,” according to the article.
When we asked if Digits will require a subscription to play if it becomes a full-fledged NYT game, here’s the non-committal response we got from NYT spokesperson Jordan Cohen: “While we have not made any long term decisions about Digits, we are excited to learn and hear from players about their experience.”
Update April 10th, 5:05PM ET: Adds statement from the NYT.