You may not think geometry plays any part in your life, but you’d be wrong. If you do anything practical – hanging a picture, putting up a shelf, or building flat-pack furniture — you deal with geometry. Choosing how to furnish your house, recognizing faces, and even shooting photographs all require some knowledge of the shapes, sizes, and angles you’re seeing.
If you want to know how good you are at dealing with geometry then The Eyeballing Game is just for you. It’s simple to play but difficult to master, which gives it an addictive quality (similar to Tetris and its various clones) that will likely keep you playing. You’re presented with seven different challenges, and tested three times on each. The idea is to correct the image as accurately as possible, with the lower the score the better.
At the end of The Eyeballing Game your scores are averaged out by the margin of error. Zero is the ultimate aim, though I doubt anyone has yet, or ever will, achieve a perfect score. To make things even more challenging you’re competing against the clock, though speed is a secondary concern. What follows is each challenge in turn detailed along with some simple tips to help you get closer to the desired 0.0.
The first time I played The Eyeballing Game I wasn’t sure what a parallelogram was, so my guess for the correct position was wildly inaccurate. the easiest way to think about this challenge is that a parallelogram features two sets of parallel lines.
This makes the methodology for finding the correct position for the corner simple. All you need to do is line up one of the sides first before you deal with the other. When you’re sure both sets are parallel lock the position in and see how well you judged it.
All you need to do here is find the midpoint of the line segment. This is probably the easiest of the seven challenges included in The Eyeballing Game, with the lowest probability of being wildly off. You are, after all, only dealing with one element.
As well as finding the midpoint you have to straighten the line. I always do this before working out where the center of the line is, but you may find it easier to do so using the temporary angle. Be careful not to accidentally adjust the spacing when you straighten the line out.
You’re presented with a random angle and have to bisect it as perfectly as possible. In other words you need to determine where the line should sit if it’s going to be the same distance away from both of the other lines.
The differing lengths of the pre-existing lines can be wildly off-putting, so to remedy this place your hand on the screen to cover up any excess length. Once the two lines look the same it’s much easier to successfully bisect the angle.
You’re presented with a scalene triangle and asked to find the center of it. This is the point “equidistant to the edges.” This is one challenge liable to catch out many people on their first play-through, but it’s actually fairly simple to correctly judge where to make your mark.
Imagine drawing a perfect circle which hits all three sides of the triangle, sitting locked inside it. Then simply mark the center of that triangle. Finding the center of a circle is no mean feat, but it’s simpler when it’s this size rather than any larger…
Following on from the last challenge is one which asks you to mark the center of a large circle. You’re presented with a perfect circle and asked to correctly judge where the central point should be.
Zooming your screen out can help with this one, or if that’s too much trouble simply move further away from your computer. The more of the circle you can see the easier it is to judge where the center would be. Try and line up the horizontal axis and the vertical axis in turn.
Right angles are everywhere you look, though they’re more a part of man-made structures than the ones inherent in nature. They may be essential but it’s surprisingly difficult to judge the difference between a perfect right angle and one that’s just slightly off.
If you’re playing The Eyeballing Game on a portable device then turn the screen until the stationary line is pointing straight up. This makes it much easier to find the 90-degree angle. Also make the movable line longer to help you judge more accurately.
The final challenge is perhaps my favorite on the list. Mainly because it’s the one I always seem to hit pretty much spot on. You’re shown three straight lines and asked to find the exact point at which they would converge were they to carry on in the same direction.
The only way to beat this challenge is to tackle one line at a time. When they’re all dead straight you will have found the correct point to set, with one final look at all three insuring you haven’t veered off course.
The Eyeballing Game is truly one of the most addictive games I have played in a long time. Like many of the best games it draws you in with its “just one more go and I’ll do better” mentality. This has quickly found its way into my list of fun things to do online when bored.
With local scores saved as long as you want them saved, and the best scores of the last 500 and last 10,000 games listed on the site, there’s an obvious lure tempting you to keep on trying. Hopefully this article will help banish the frustration felt when you fail to do well.
Have you played The Eyeballing Game? It’s been online for several years but remains something of a hidden gem. Use the comments section below to let us know what you think of this fun timewaster, or, if you’re so inclined, let us know the best score you’ve achieved. If your gray matter needs more massaging then you can try these other games for the brain.
Image Credit: Avi