Rainy Day
November 26, 2014 5:02 AM   Subscribe

Pencil and Paper Games is devoted to games you can play with nothing more than a pencil and a piece of paper (some of which can be played on the site, for those who do not have access to a pencil and paper, or remember what those are.)

All the games are worth a look, but their implementation of the Countdown Numbers Game is a particularly nice one because you play against a computer opponent that is constrained to a short solve time, so you have a fighting chance of winning. If you want, though, there's a perfect Numbers Game solver at crosswordtools that will show multiple solutions according to the computer's estimate of their difficulty.

Some amusing Numbers Game videos from Countdown:
Difficult Numbers Game
Somewhat Less Difficult Numbers Game
posted by Wolfdog (11 comments total) 81 users marked this as a favorite
Here is the obligatory video of the most famous nine-letter word on Countdown.
posted by dannyboybell at 5:13 AM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

When you play Countdown against the computer, you can just tell it what number you got without showing your method. Raises the question of which is the more honest cheat, using a computer solver or lying about your number.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:37 AM on November 26, 2014

Thanks for posting this!
posted by newdaddy at 7:10 AM on November 26, 2014

This is awesome. And not in the 'like a hot dog' sense. But really awe, we've so forgotten how much simple, truly enjoyable play is a matter of imagination and can be done without loads of complex, expensive apparatus.

...and, well, yeah, with it too.

posted by Smedleyman at 9:28 AM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Great links, wolfdog. I also enjoy krazydad.com which has lots of printable mazes, sudoku, kenken, and so on. Perfect for printing stuff out for the kids on a rainy (in my case, snowy) day.
posted by math at 9:34 AM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's a little more free-form than these, but back in middle school (NJ, late 1970s), I spent a bunch of time playing Tanks with my friends. I don't know where it came from.
posted by fings at 1:23 PM on November 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Awesome! This is exactly what I've been meaning to search for lately. I've been missing games like these. Thanks. : )
posted by Mercy at 8:08 PM on November 26, 2014

You all may be interested in sgt-puzzles, whose javascript versions run perfectly fine in browsers.
posted by pwnguin at 11:10 PM on November 26, 2014

I hadn't heard of tanks, but we played something with a similar mechanic in the mid-80s: X-Wings vs TIE Fighters.

X-Wings are O's with an X through them.

TIEs are Os with an H through them.

Each side gets, say, ten of each that they can draw anywhere on their side of a piece of paper. Then start flicking those pens to see who gets hit. Last side standing wins.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:30 AM on November 27, 2014

Those sound complicated. From what I can remember of elementary school, if we wanted a battle we mostly just stabbed each other with the pencils.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:31 AM on November 27, 2014

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