Digits, A New ‘New York Times’ Game
The New York Times has recently unveiled a new numbers game called Digits, which is being touted as the mathematical equivalent of the wildly popular Wordle game. Developed by the newspaper’s in-house Games team, Digits is currently in public beta testing, meaning that players can try it out for themselves. However, the game will only be available for a limited time – just one week – before it’s taken down and the results of the test are evaluated.
The success of Digits’ beta test will determine whether it becomes a permanent fixture alongside Wordle in the New York Times’ stable of games or whether it’s deemed a failed experiment and abandoned. The idea for Digits was first suggested during a New York Times games jam in late 2021 and was inspired by two popular numeric game shows – the French program Des Chiffres et des Lettres and the English show Countdown.
Interestingly, the development of Digits coincided with the meteoric rise of Wordle in early 2022. The influence of Wordle is evident in Digits’ green and gold color scheme, which is reminiscent of the former game’s distinctive look. In fact, the New York Times acquired Wordle in January 2022, which delayed work on Digits while the team integrated the new acquisition into the newspaper’s website.
It remains to be seen whether Digits will achieve the same level of success and popularity as Wordle, but for now, it offers an intriguing new challenge for math enthusiasts and puzzle aficionados.
How to play ‘Digits’
Digits is a fun and engaging puzzle game that challenges your arithmetic skills. The premise of the game is simple: you are given a set of six numbers, and you have to use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to manipulate them and arrive at a result as close as possible to a given target number. The catch is that you can only use each number once, so you have to be strategic in your calculations. For example, if you multiply 7 and 3, the numbers will combine to create 21, which you can use in further calculations. However, the original 7 and 3 will be gone, so you won’t be able to use them again.
There’s a limit to the number of operations you can perform, as you’ll run out of numbers after five. Fortunately, Digits provides you with an undo button in case you make a mistake or find yourself in a dead end. You can also attempt to solve a puzzle multiple times, so you’re not stuck with your first, disappointing result.
One of the unique features of Digits is its star-based scoring system. You can earn up to three stars depending on how close you get to the target number. If your result is within 25 places of the goal, you’ll earn one star. If you’re within 10 places, you’ll get two stars. And if you land exactly on the target number, you’ll be awarded three stars. Digits won’t accept any answers that don’t earn at least one star, so you’ll have to put in some effort to make progress.
There are five new Digits puzzles released every day, giving you a chance to earn up to 15 stars. You can tackle them in any order you want, and switch between tabs to avoid getting stuck on a particular puzzle. If you’re really struggling, you can give up and reveal the answer, but this will prevent you from earning any more stars on that puzzle.
Like Wordle, new Digits puzzles are released daily at midnight. Once you’ve completed all five puzzles, you can use the share button to show off your progress and share your strategy with friends on social media. However, this feature won’t be available until you’ve aced the entire test, so you’ll have to be at the top of your game to show off your score on Twitter.
All in all, Digits is a challenging and addictive puzzle game that will put your math skills to the test. Whether you’re a math whiz or just looking for a fun way to pass the time, Digits is sure to provide hours of entertainment and mental stimulation. So why not give it a try and see how many stars you can earn?