Review of Factris

Factris is a game from Mathigon and available at

Much like the popular Tetris game, blocks drop down and have to be tesselated as best as you can. Whenever the blocks join to form one or more complete rows, those rows disappear and any blocks above these rows drop down accordingly. For example, if the first block is 6, you can change from

The key thing about Factris is that the blocks are in the form of rectangles and you can change the size and orientation of the rectangle by clicking on the top middle button as shown. The arrows allow you to then direct the final position of the rectangle.

The actual rectangle changes its orientation n the order shown:

However, once you have switched the orientation, you cannot switch back: knowing how each number can be factored will help a lot in this game (and, I suspect, will develop as a result of playing this game).

At the top of the playing area, you will see which blocks are due up (in this case 24, 24, 2, 18). You do have the option of discarding any unfriendly block but once you have discarded any block, you have to place the next 5 blocks before you may next discard.

Your total points are also displayed here. You can pause or restart the game using the appropriate buttons and even see the current high scores.

If the blocks pile up so much that they extend beyond the playing space, your turn finishes:

To see what a (speeded-up) game might start like, click on this link: factris

I really like this game as I see it as a great way for students to become more fluent in their understanding and recall of multiplication facts. There is also a spatial reasoning component too which is always a good thing.