Lovelace and Babbage!! Math geeks be proud! 🤓🥰

The deluxe bundle includes the base game, the wooden computer operation discs, the dry erase score boards (4 boards total) and the Ada meeple and enamel pin set! The base game option comes with the base game (of course) and a set of wooden computer operations discs.

From the creator of the Tiny Epic series comes a whole new experience…

While this game comes in a small box that is almost as tiny as the boxes containing the famous Tiny Epic games… but the similarity to that series ends there; and that is OK!

This is a fantastically fun, math’y, real-time, competitive game where players work to program the first mechanical computer! Let’s down a Monster, stretch our math muscles… and dive into the game! Geek on! ?

As an aside… I am a total math geek. My SAT scores in math were quite lovely… but I can’t explain why. Haha. Math and I just “get” each other…. Anyway, I just wanted to be sure that you knew I was definitely onboard with the “Math geeks unite!” movement! ??

Do NOT play this game with your mathematically gifted, computer programming friends…

…because they will crush you! Hahahaha! ?

Ok, I suppose there is a chance to win even if you are playing against someone who can plan their chess games 10 moves ahead and simultaneously calculate the probability of success.. but man-oh-man, this game will quickly show you who in your game group is the best at puzzle’y math under pressure!

Hopefully I haven’t lost you yet!

The game is played in four rounds. During the round players will create a program by writing down operations and results in a column on their programming pad. They will do so by using the engine (computer) components shown on the game board. The first two rows of engine components are pre-printed and the last three rows are randomly selected from a stack of component discs to keep things interesting. ?

Across the top of the board are the numbers 1 – 4, and then along the left are column headers labeled A – E. These are used as pre-formatted calculations that help you get to a certain number. During each round players may complete up to 5 calculations (more if certain things are unlocked later in the game).

Hang in there! It’ll all make sense soon… (sure, right)

Everyone starts from the base computing number 55… and the goal of the game is to work your way to the numerical values of each patron card in order to gain their favor and ultimately collect the symbols they display; all of this being done in order to gain majority in those symbol tracks and score the most points at end game. Simple. ?

The first player to gain their favor chooses which one of these symbols they want. The next player to gain that patron’s favor will receive the other influence symbol. Players who achieve that patron’s favor later gain the failed experiment symbol. For shame! ?

In addition, each round players put out one of their personal subroutine cards (that grant special ongoing powers and score points at the end of the game). These cards also have a numerical value and again.. if the player an match the numeric value during their programming (as a result of performing the correct computations) then they will get that bonus ability for the rest of the game. Whew!

How about an example? This is making my brain hurt… but it sounds soooooo gooooood!

So let’s say that a patron with numerical value 65 is out this round (there are 5 each round). This patron displays a magnifying glass influence symbol and a lightning bolt influence symbol.

Let’s pause here to show what the starting two rows of the computer look like:

           1             2            3           4

A    +/- 1      +/-2      +/-5    reverse digits

B    +/-10    +/-20    +/-50       x2

   these are placed out randomly in later rounds

D    ditto

E    ditto

OK… so, we all start with the number 55 as our base computing number… and so, in order to get to the value of 65 we are looking for computer engine locations that will allow us to add 10 to our starting number and thereby achieve the 65 needed to “score” that card.

Fortunately, in location B1, the computer engine calculation is +/- 10. So our first of five lines of programming this round might be “55 + B1 = 65.” So far so good…

Now let’s say one of the other patron’s has a value of 77. Our next two lines of “code” might be “65 +  A2 = 67” and then “67 + B1 = 77.”  Sweet!  We’re got the potential to score 2 of the patrons already and we have 2 more calculations left.

But what if everyone scores a given patron?

How do we decide which player actually get the first or second symbols and who gets the failed experiment symbol after that?

At the top of the board there is a 60-second sand timer representing the first player to finish, and then discs numbered 2 through 4 for the remaining players. When the first player has completed writing all 5 lines of their “code,” they grab the 60-second timer and flip it over.

At this point everyone has 60 seconds to complete as much code as they can! If you’ve already got some decent coding in there you can just stop and grab that second player marker… and so on.

But if everyone takes the full 60 seconds before they go to grab the player turn order markers, then as soon as the 60 second timer runs out it is a free-for-all; where everyone tries to grab the lowest turn order number simultaneously.

I personally feel that this chaotic action is representative of a group of programmers trying to grab the last slice of pizza after they’ve each had 6 red bulls and no sleep… but I digress… I mean, what to do I know, anyway? ????

Scoring that sweet code!

Now we go through everyone’s code line by line starting with the first player. We look at their first line of code and see if they matched the value of any of the available patrons or their subroutine card. If they matched a patron, then they get to choose which symbol they want. Again, the remaining symbol will be available to the next programmer to score that patron’s number.

Then we move to the second player and see if they had any matches in their first line of code. Then the third and fourth players. We repeat this process for each line of code. As you can probably infer, being earlier in the selection turn order is VERY helpful if everyone is racing toward the same patrons!

Once we finish reviewing our splendid coding, we start a new round. Five new patrons come out; players can choose a new subroutine (or continue trying to match the value of the one they already placed out if they haven’t yet been successful); we add the next row of 5 calculations to the computer; … and off we go! Ohhhh… the math is heating UP!

Each subsequent round players begin with whatever number they had at the end of their last code calculations. Things get interesting here because we’re all generally starting with different numbers in these subsequent rounds… so it is anyone’s game!

Enders game

At the end of the 5th round after we score patrons and subroutine cards we go into final scoring.

Players earn points for unlocking their personal subroutine cards, points for having majority or second-most of the different influence symbols on the patrons, and finally bonus points (tallied earlier) for unlocking a subroutine or gaining support of a patron using the programming discs of the C, D, and E rows that came out randomly.

My brain hurts a little… ?

…maybe I need to pull out those SAT scores and verify they were correct ?

Even though it was a bit of a struggle for me to adequately describe the gameplay in written prose… trust me – this is a FUN game!

I mean, if you have math and the idea of doing basic calculations under the pressure of a timer makes your skin crawl, then this is not the game for you! But if you like the brain-stewing fun of working through a math’y puzzle while your competitors sweat it out… then look no further!

When I was a kid I enjoyed helping my Dad do these crypto-quotes that were in the crossword section of the newspaper. Using probability, logic, and knowing the general topic of a quote, one had to deduce the code it was written in to solve the puzzle. So, as you might imagine.. this game speaks to me! ♥️

It’s a fun, quick, math’y puzzle that will have you sharpening your pencil and racing to grab that 60-second sand timer!! So, if you’re like me.. and you’re part of the math’y geek sqwuad… you will not be disappointed with Lovelace and Babbage!

Computer power switch – ON!

A few videos in case you gave up 5 paragraphs ago… hehe.

Tom at Slickerdrips gives us the download on how to play Lovelace and Babbage HERE and he gives us his first impressions HERE.

Rhado Runs the program on Lovelace and Babbage HERE.


Ages: 14+
Players: 2 – 4
Play Time: 15 – 30 minutes (the timer keeps it tight!)
Publisher: Artana
SKU: Artana 001
Base game editions selling for approximately
$18 in the Geek Store
Our Price:
$16.25 for deluxe bundle
$13.75 for base game plus wooden discs promo
Link to BGG:




Lovelace and Babbage – math plus high-speed thinking equals FUN! No, really!!! ?

The deluxe bundle offered here at Upstart includes the base game, the wooden computer operation tokens, the dry-erase board score cards, and the Ada meeple and enamel pin. The base game (with the wooden computer operation tokens added in) is available as well!

In Lovelace & Babbage, players program the world’s first computer to help famous patrons solve challenging problems.

  • Compete against your fellow programmers in real time
  • Develop your Subroutines and upgrade the shared computer.
  • Receive Influence from Patrons in five areas of society.
  • Balance speed, care, and clever maneuvers to win!

Lovelace & Babbage is full of thoughtful fun and a modern-day twist on the dawn of computing.

Play as a pioneer of early computing – such as the brilliant Ada Lovelace or the marvelous Charles Babbage – to program the very first computer. Each player has their own unique Subroutines and they compete to create the best personal program.

At the game’s start, the computer is simple and you have a limited number of Operations, letting your individual strategy take shape. Later rounds bring enhancements to the computer for additional scoring opportunities.

Your goal is to identify a sequence of Engine Components in real time so your personal program generates values matching Patron and Subroutine cards. Doing so gains Influence in five different areas from the Patrons and unlocks expanded abilities for your programmer via Subroutines. Everyone’s program starts at the same place – what you do after that is up to you!

As the computer evolves, and your personal program choices impact everyone else, the race to see which programmer is best really heats up! Winning will require just enough speed to stay ahead of your opponents and just enough care to not go TOO fast. After four rounds, whoever scores the most points by developing their own computer program and collecting Influence in various areas is declared the winner!

Welcome to the fabulous world of the first computer engineers – Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage!

~ publisher description 

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Lovelace and Babbage Deluxe bundle, Lovelace and Babbage base game plus wooden operation discs only


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