It’s the year 2718. Humanity has invented a warp drive that enables a spacecraft to hyperjump to distant solar systems and back to Earth. The drive promises to revolutionize space exploration. But there’s a catch. The new technology can only make hyperjumps that follow the basic rules of arithmetic. Earth’s governing body has tapped you, an adventurous math explorer, to captain the first warp-drive-equipped starship in its fleet. Your mission is to discover and scout as many hyperjump routes as you can in a different solar system each day. Once these routes have been established, teams of scientists can safely follow in your footsteps.
Strapped into the captain’s seat, you sit in front of a console with eight blank digits, one for each exoplanet in the distant solar system. Each exoplanet has been assigned a hyperjump number. Your job is to input the numbers in a valid order — based on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division — making sequences at least three exoplanets long before you can take off. After each trip, you return to Earth to recharge your warp drive.
Your HOW TO PLAY manual explains how to construct a valid hyperjump sequence. Press the SEQUENCES button to see your completed sequences and how many are left to discover.
You’ll get one point for each exoplanet in every launched sequence. Launching longer sequences will automatically award you points for all the shorter sequences contained within them. As you accumulate points, you’ll level up from Novice to Cadet to Explorer to Master, and finally to Champion if you launch every possible sequence. A new game, with new exoplanet numbers, will begin each day at midnight eastern time. Log in and check MY STATS to view your historical Hyperjumps data.
Click this link or the image above to start playing Quanta’s daily math game, Hyperjumps!
Notes on Game Design
This is a redesigned and relaunched version of the Hyperjumps game that we first released in March 2023. After reviewing player feedback, we decided to simplify gameplay by dropping the rule that allowed exoplanet numbers to be combined into multi-digit numbers. Now it’s a simple matter of adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing two single-digit numbers to get the next number in your sequence. And you can now launch sequences with as few as three exoplanet numbers. We hope these changes make the game easier for everyone to learn and play.
Also, you can now save your game in progress and historical stats by logging into Quanta’s website (which also lets you save articles to read later from any device).
The game was conceived by Pradeep Mutalik, our brilliant puzzle columnist. The interactive developer Paul Chaikin, our art director Samuel Velasco and I further developed the game into what you see today. I’m grateful to the mathematician Dave Richeson for his detailed feedback, including this gem: “What I was trying to decide while playing this game is whether solving it requires some clever logic and puzzle-solving skills (which makes the game fun), or whether it is a slog through a combinatorial explosion (not fun).”
We couldn’t have built this game without the help of our colleagues. Michael Kranz, who leads the web development team at the Simons Foundation, provided coding support, and several members of Quanta’s editorial and art teams playtested early prototypes.
If you like Hyperjumps, I hope you’ll share it with family and friends. We welcome your questions, feedback and bug reports in the comments section below.
Quanta’s Insights Puzzle
Hyperjumps is a natural addition to Quanta’s puzzle offerings, which were long headlined by our Insights series. Starting with our first Insights puzzle, which ran on July 7, 2015, and ending with the initial launch of the Hyperjumps game last March, Pradeep wrote 54 puzzle columns for Quanta, exploring the Sleeping Beauty problem, infinity, random walks, quantum weirdness, Wordle and many other topics, including the art of puzzle solving itself and several variations on classic math puzzles.
Looking back at this treasure trove of brain-twisting ideas, calculations, creativity and quantitative fun, I’m awed by Pradeep’s wide-ranging interests, inquisitiveness and intellectual energy. I can’t thank him enough for sharing his love of puzzles with the Quanta community, for taking the time to read and respond to readers’ questions and solutions, and for giving me, his editor, a master class in the craft of puzzle design.
After seven years and with the introduction of this new interactive math game, Pradeep and I felt last year was a good time to wind down the Insights puzzle. We hope you enjoy Hyperjumps, and, as Pradeep likes to say, happy puzzling!