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The soroban (Japanese abacus) is an ancient counting tool used by the merchant classes of ancient Japan to help them in their daily business transactions. Learn how to use the Japanese abacus and use it to express numbers.

  • Move the beads around to see what values you can create.
  • Create random numbers to see how they are displayed on the beads.
  • Challenge yourself by generating a random number that you must express using the beads.





Play Soroban Game Online

Children and parents can play this mechanical calculator variation game by clicking in the window below.

Alternatively kids and adults can play this Japanese abacus video game for free as a web application here.

Soroban Math Game for Kids Video Game Play Instructions

How to Play

Load a digital version of the Japanese abacus. Challenge yourself by moving the beads around to accurately represent numbers shown onscreen.

  • Starting the Game
    • Left click or tap anywhere to begin.
    • Read the rules of the soroban on the left side of the screen.
  • Game Controls
    • Desktop
      • With your mouse, left click to select.
    • Touchscreen devices
      • Tap on the screen with your fingers to select.
    • Controls and indicators:
      • The instructions and history of the soroban are shown on the left column.
      • The right box shows the following options:
        • The number box is on top of the screen. Above it is a number display.
        • The check button checks the value of your input.
        • The reset button brings back the soroban’s values back to 0.
        • The randomize button generates a random number, which is expressed in the soroban.
        • The eye button toggles the visibility of the other buttons.
      • The Try a Challenge button begins the challenge.
  • Game Play
    • Basic rules
      • Much like Arabic numbers, the place values are shown from left to right.
        • The soroban’s place values express 10.
        • The soroban in this game has place values up to the ten thousands.
        • To express a number, work from the largest values downward.
      • The values of the soroban are based on how close they are to the middle bar.
        • The beads on top section have a value of 5.
        • The beads on the bottom section have a value of 1.
        • To express a number, move the needed number of beads to the middle bar.
        • To mark a place value as 0, simply move the beads closer to the edges.
      • To calculate with a soroban, express one number, and then move the beads around. Count the place numbers
    • Display and challenges
      • Choose the randomize option on the box to generate a number in Arabic numerals, which will also be expressed in the soroban. Hit this a few times to familiarize yourself with the placement of the numbers
      • Move the beads around yourself to form various numbers. The game will display the number’s value in Arabic numerals on the box.
      • Use the number box to input a number represented in Arabic numerals on the display.
        • You can input this using the arrows on the right edge of the number box or using the keyboard if you’re on a desktop.
        • The game automatically moves the beads to match the numbers.
      • To see if you can express numbers yourself, hit the Try A Challenge option.
        • The number you need to express will be shown on the box.
        • Move the beads around until the match the number on the box.
        • Select the check button to see if you got it right.
          • The box will shower x’s if you get it wrong and checks if you get it right.
  • Target Audience
    • The game is suited for players who like simple math games.
    • The game has no adult themed content.

The OG Computer

Abacuses are one of the oldest analog computing technologies on Earth. For millennia, abacuses were used by merchants and bankers across the globe to help them visualize and calculate large numbers.

And the humble abacus may have one benefit that modern electronic calculators do not have. Advocates believe that calculating with an abacus can help you improve your mental math and memory skills. For this reason, soroban use continues to be taught in schools in Japan.

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Free Online Soroban Mathematics Video Game for Children & Adults Screenshots

Soroban Game Welcome Screen Screenshot.
Soroban Game Screenshot.
Soroban Game Challenge Screenshot.
Soroban Game Challenge Complete Screenshot.

Mobile Friendly Cross Browser Support

This game is rendered in mobile-friendly HTML5, so it offers cross-device gameplay. You can play it on mobile devices like Apple iPhones, Google Android powered cell phones from manufactures like Samsung, tablets like the iPad or Kindle Fire, laptops, and Windows-powered desktop computers. All game files are stored locally in your web browser cache. This game works in Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and other modern web browsers.

Where To? What Next?

This game was published in these categories: Math. You can visit any of them to select other fun games to play.

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