Many popular online games these days are all about high octane action, as players crash, bang, and wallop their way through FPS gaming lobbies in search of victory.

However, there is now something of a counter-cultural shift taking place in online gaming circles, as people who want to put more thought into their gaming seek out those titles that will allow them to expand and develop their grey matter, rather than just destroying everything in sight.

Here are some of the very best online games which have mathematically-minded players all over the world clamouring to try and master them.

Keyboard warriors are increasingly engaging with games that challenge their brainpower as well as their reactions and timing

Classic Games Still Pose the Ultimate Challenge

Wedged in among all the new titles that are constantly being released online are those games that have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

Some of these include classics like Dominoes, Roulette, and Sudoku, all of which were invented long before the digital revolution, but which have since been adapted to perfectly inhabit the online sphere.

In Sudoku, the basic rules of the game are simple but lead to mathematical problems galore, all of which have the power to keep players scratching their heads for hours on end, but in a good way.

Similarly, those players who want to know more about online Rouletteย ought to acquaint themselves quickly with the basics, before then moving on to the vagaries of Probabilities and the all-important House Edge.

Meanwhile, to get to the heart of the mathematics involved in Dominoes players must engage with number crunching techniques such as Graph Theory and Clarkโ€™s Law.

It is a testament to the mathematical complexities of such games that all three of them, as well as other classic games, continue to thrive online.

Games that force players to think are usually the ones that have the greatest long term appeal

Puzzlers Made for Mobile

New mobile devices are now so powerful that their computing power can often put desktop and laptop computers to shame, as people use them to do everything from listening to podcasts to streaming pro Esports tournaments via platforms such as Twitch.

Piggybacking on this trend for seriously capable mobile phones are puzzle games, many of which put mind-bending equations and sums at the centre of their gameplay.

Powernode is one of these, which involves as much forward planning as it does mathematical ability.

Divide By Sheep has a very different gaming interface but is every bit as challenging for up and coming number crunchers.

Last but not least there is Threes! which has taken Sudoku and turned the game on its head to produce an equally compelling puzzler.

Online Games That Borrow Elements of Mathematics

While most games that attract mathematical whizzes tend to market themselves quite directly to such player bases, there are other games out there that get people engaging in mathematical problems without them even knowing it.

This can range all the way from a Call of Duty player being forced into solving the equation of how to win during a clutch head-to-head battle, or even a chess player trying to escape checkmate.

Indeed, an enlightening book by Matthew Lane titled Power-Up shows that mathematics is involved to some degree in every online game that players engage with, although it is less clear as to whether this simultaneously helps people develop their mathematical abilities.

Online Escape Rooms Require Logic and Maths

Escape rooms are an entertainment trend that has lasted far longer than most people expected, with many popping up on high streets all over the world.

Of course, there are plenty of online escape rooms too and many of them require players to engage with mathematical puzzles if they want to escape before it is too late.

Some of the best for this include The Experiment and The Room, with the latter even being compatible with VR headsets.

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