Basic Shapes to Advanced Geometry
Help, you've been mummified. Use your geometry skills to build a path across the voids, and escape from the pyramid, staying ahead of the mongrel demon Ammit. Battle skull bats and skeleton thieves with your ankh cross.
In this geometry game set in Ancient Egypt, you have been prematurely mummified and entombed within a pyramid. The object of this maths game is to help your mummy to escape to freedom, by solving geometry puzzles and building a path across the voids of the pyramid's burial chambers.
Unfortunately, the pyramid contains many evil characters such as skull bats, skeleton thieves and a ferocious mystical Egyptian demon called Ammit, all of whom are intent on preventing your escape.
Stay ahead of Ammit and zap other enemies with your Ankh Sceptre while you select shapes and build a path out of the tomb.
How To Play
At the beginning of every turn, four puzzle stones appear at the top of your screen, and a red arrow appears in front of your mummy. Each puzzle stone has a shape on it, with one of the key lengths of the shape indicated in red. You are given enough information to be able to calculate each of the red lines in the puzzle stones.
Build a path by selecting a puzzle stone where the length indicated in red on the shape is equivalent to the length of the arrow in front of your mummy, and dragging that puzzle stone onto the arrow.
Choose the angle of your path through the pyramid by dropping the puzzle stone onto the arrow at the right moment.
If you choose a puzzle stone where the red line is not an equivalent length to the arrow, the puzzle stone will explode and momentarily stun your mummy.
Navigate wisely across the voids, collecting the maximum number of gems and pick-ups to boost your score and prepare you for enemy encounters.
You are pursued by Ammit, a demon from the ancient Egyptian underworld, who has the head of a crocodile, the body of a lioness, and the hind legs of a hippopotamus. Ammit is an implacable enemy and can be briefly frozen, but not destroyed, by firing your Ankh Sceptre at her.
Skull bats appear from time to time and will stun your character if not targeted and destroyed with the Ankh Sceptre. Successful attacks by three skull bats in succession may knock your character off the path, to certain death below.
Skeleton thieves pursue you along the path and will steal gems from you if they reach you, stunning you in the process. Different skeletons steal different colours of gems. Destroy them with the Ankh Sceptre.
At the end of each Zone, the mummy collects a canopic jar containing one of his own preserved body parts, and then faces a head-to-head battle with Ammit.
On this occasion, out of the four puzzle stones presented, only one bears a polygon or circle with a red line that is NOT equivalent in length to the arrow in front of the mummy. Select and drag this non-fitting puzzle stone, which will then explode and knock Ammit back into a pit.
Don't worry about being stunned - each canopic jar is guarded by a Son of Horus, who will magically appear and protect the mummy from puzzle stone blasts.
The pyramid has four Zones, each of which features three Levels and a Boss Level, making 16 Levels in total. Each Zone contains a unique mix of mathematical problems, with the problems becoming more challenging across the Levels. The Zones contain the following mathematical problems:
- Zone 1
- Diameter and radius of a circle
- Sides of an isosceles triangle
- Sides of an equilateral triangle
- Area of a triangle
- Zone 2
- Perimeter of a square
- Area of a square
- Perimeter of a rectangle
- Area of a rectangle
- Perimeter of a kite
- Area of a kite
- Area of a parallelogram
- Area of a trapezium
- Zone 3
- Pythagoras: Length of the hypotenuse
- Pythagoras: Length of the short side
- Zone 4
- Trigonometry including sine, cosine, and tangent
Click and drag a puzzle stone onto the red arrow in order to select it.
Position the pointer over targets and then click to fire at them using the Ankh Sceptre. The Ankh Sceptre power bar is the green line at the top left of the screen. Recharge the Ankh power bar by collecting Ankh pick-ups.
If you get stuck in a dead end, use the "Back" arrow button (in the middle-bottom of the screen) to make the mummy retrace his steps. You can use this as many times as you like.
Pause the game by clicking on the Pause button at the top left of the screen.
Access the in-game instructions at any time by clicking on the question mark at the top left of the screen.
There are many treasures and special items to find; simply move your mummy near them to collect them automatically:
- Golden Scarab
- These is an exciting treasure that rewards the player with a big score boost.
- Silver Ankh
- This item tops up the Mummy's sceptre power and restore it to maximum
- Eye of Horus
- Temporarily gives the player invulnerability from monster attacks (although not from the jaws of Ammit).
- Heart Amulet
- Contains the mummified heart of a grave robber. It provides a tasty snack for Ammit, pausing her in her tracks and giving the mummy time to get further away.
- Akhenaten's Death Mask
- Collecting one of these rare and hard-to-retrieve items rewards the player with an extra life or "try".
The Pyramid Panic geometry game can be configured for access by colour-blind students affected with red-blindness. To use this feature, start the game as usual, then pause it, and select the blue box. Hereafter, all red lines in the polygons and circles will be rendered in blue.
The difficulty selected determines how fast Ammit and other enemies move as well as the effectiveness of certain pick-ups, such as the Eye of Horus. But the higher the risk, the greater the reward! The scoring is as follows:
|Ammit bonus (per metre)||Level x 10||Level x 20||Level x 40|
Improve your score
- Use the mini-map in the bottom-left corner of the screen to plan your path to the exit.
- Try to stay in the higher regions of each level - that's where the most valuable treasures lie!
- Don't waste your magical Ankh energy - on the later levels you'll need every last drop to survive.
- If running low on Ankh energy, focus on blasting bats as they can knock you to your doom.
Doing the Maths
- Approach "A"
- Work out the answer for the stones one at a time and see if the answer matches the arrow. For example: the number on the arrow is 5m. The first stone is a square with a perimeter of 36m. The side of the square is the red line. Work out the answer for the square: 36 ÷ 4 = 9. This is not the correct answer. So try the next stone.
- Approach "B"
- Assume the answer to the stones is the number on the arrow. Check each stone, one at a time, to see if the number on the arrow works. For example: the number on the arrow is 5m. The first stone is a square with a perimeter of 36m. The side of the square is the red line. Assume the side of the square is 5m. So the perimeter must be 5 × 4 = 20m. This is the wrong answer. So try the next stone.
- If the red line on a circle is the diameter (straight across the middle) or the radius (from the centre to the edge) then you can check a circle very quickly. Remember the rule: radius × 2 = diameter.
- Triangles (easy ones)
- If the red line is the side of a triangle you can normally check these very quickly. Look for the single "dash" marks that indicate which sides are of equal length.
- If you know the area of a square, you can find the side length by working out the square root of the area. You can spot a square because each side has a single "dash" mark to show that all sides are the same length. For example: the area of a square is 36m². Find the side length. Square root of 36m is 6m.
- Areas and perimeters
- When you are checking stones that involve areas, you can usually check them faster than stones that involve perimeter. Two examples: a rectangle has an area of 99m² and a side of 11m, find the other side; a rectangle has a perimeter of 18m and a side of 3m, find the other side. Most people find the first example can be worked out quicker, so check the stones that involve area before the ones than involve perimeter.
- It is easier to check the perimeter of a triangle than a quadrilateral (four-sided shape).
- A parallelogram is just a pushed-over rectangle. So the area is worked out in the same way as a rectangle: area = base × height. But remember that the height is measured perpendicularly (straight up).
- Areas of triangles and kites
- Both a triangle and a kite can be drawn with a rectangle around them. They both take up HALF the space of the rectangle. So remember that the formula for the area of a triangle or kite is: (width × height) ÷ 2.
These can be quite difficult. The formula is similar to the rectangle but the two parallel sides are different lengths. One way to find the area is to find the AVERAGE length of the parallel sides first, then multiply by the width.
For example: a trapezium has an area of 60m² and two vertical sides of 10m and 14m. The horizontal base is the red line. The average length of the parallel sides is 12m. You need to do 12 × 5 to make 60. So the red line width is 5m.
- Pythagoras (longest side)
When you are trying to find the longest side of a right-angled triangle from the other two sides you are using Pythagoras Theorem. If you call the longest side a and the other two sides b and c then the rule which you can use to work out the longest side is a² = b² + c². It's normally easier to "square" numbers than "square root them".
For example: a right-angled triangle has two shorter sides of √13m and 6m. The longest side is the red line. The line on the arrow is 10m. Square the two shorter sides: (√13)² is just 13 and 6² = 36. Add the answers together: 13 + 36 = 49. However, if you square the number on the arrow: 10² = 100, you don't get the same answer: 49 and 100 are not the same. So try the next stone.
- Pythagoras (shorter side)
When you are trying to find one of the shorter sides of a right-angled triangle using the longest side and another side, you use Pythagoras Theorem. Remember the rule: a² = b² + c² where a is the longest side. There's a very useful shortcut that just works out the last digit of the answer. For example: say we have a right-angled triangle that has a longest side of √52m and a shorter side of 5m. The number on the arrow is 8m. Assume the number on the arrow is the correct answer and work out if the longest side really is √52m. 5² = 25 and 8² = 64, but instead of having to add both numbers together, just add the last digit of each number: 5 + 4 = 9 - i.e. the answer ends in a 9. So the longest length will be the square root of a number ending in 9. But the longest side is √52 and ends in a 2. So the stone is wrong. Try the next stone.
- Pythagoras (special triangles)
- There are two very common right-angled triangles that you might try to remember. Their sides don't have square roots in them. They are the 3, 4, 5 triangle and the 6, 8, 10 triangle. If you see these in the game, you can very quickly work out the missing side.
You need to remember the formulae for working out the SIN/COS/TAN of an angle. If the angle is called B then the formulae are:
- SIN B = opposite ÷ hypotenuse
- COS B = adjacent ÷ hypotenuse
- TAN B = opposite ÷ adjacent
If you take the first letter from each word this spells out SOH CAH TOA. Many people just remember these first letters to remind them of the formulae.
Trying to work out the length of the red line in each puzzle stone might be very time consuming. A better strategy is to use the number on the arrow and see if it is correct. For example: say the number on the arrow is 10m. A right-angled triangle has an adjacent side of 6m and a red line on the hypotenuse. The stone shows COS B = 3/4. If the red line were 10m then COS B = 6/10 which simplifies to 3/5. This is not the answer on the stone, so try the next stone.