If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Do maths to thwarts satans in The Devil's Calculator

What devilry is this?

All mathematics is devilry as far as I'm concerned, though numeric rituals are rarely as explicit as in The Devil's Calculator. Made by the fella behind word puzzler Synonymy, The Devil's Calculator is about solving equations backwards on a spoOoky graphing calculator to reach the number 666. The satan in the calculator has scrambled the functions of logical operators, see, so we need to... look, I live a chaste life free of algebra so I didn't even know the game's symbols were fake. These runes look as real to me as A† or ≜ or A⊗B or any other 'real' symbol I had to Google and must now flush out my brain with a neti pot of holy water.

"An evil calculator has its normal arithmetic operators replaced with sadistically obscure functions," developer Christopher Cinq-Mars Jarvis explains. All calculators are evil and all numbertricks are sadistic, of course, but I get what he's saying. "Using logic and a bit of algebra, you must work backwards to interpolate and use these corrupted operators to compute the 'number of the beast', 666, in order to purge the calculator of its demons and continue on."

I'm still in awe of people at school who could use graphing calculators to, well, do graphs - let alone those who made graphs do video games? I, clearly, was not one of these people. But these servants of satans are out there, and you may be one of them, so I thought I might point this out. God! How is any of this 'number stuff' real. Mystifying. Mystical.

Look at the guide and tell me the example of ◇ф(3ψ2)=666 isn't a hex to sour your neighbour's milk.

The game also has an editor so you can create your own hellsums and solve others' incantations.

The Devil's Calculator is out now on Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It costs £1.67/€1.91/$2.39, which includes a small launch discount, though students and teachers can get a free copy. Classic cult indoctrination behaviour there. It's also on pocket telephones, where Jarvis has open-sourced the code on GitHub too.

I liked the idea of Jarvis's Synonymy, though the game about connecting two quite different words by bending synonyms was let down by a poor lexicon and some technical frustrations, but I am in no position to probe these mathematical majicks and return any verdict other than "devilry." If any of you satanists play this, tell me if it pleases your dark lords?

You know, "The Devil's Calculator" would've been a great name for Zachlikes.

You're not signed in!

Create your ReedPop ID & unlock community features and much, much more!

Create account
About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice is likely in the sea.

Rock Paper Shotgun logo

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Buy RPS stuff here
Rock Paper Shotgun Merch