It’s been quite a journey for developer Sean Kearney and his indie studio Squeezebox Software. Following the success of his silly One Player Pong and its Apple TV follow-up Super One Player Pong, Kearney wanted to make “a math game for stupid people" with an ’80s-action-movie-inspired overly dramatic storyline and math-based puzzling that wasn’t as dull or difficult as “math-based puzzling" sounded. That game was called Zero Sum, and we first checked it out way back at GDC in 2015. Being a solo developer with a full-time job who could only work on these projects in spare time, Zero Sum has been a slow-moving project, and I sort of thought it might be dead and gone after not hearing anything about it following that GDC meeting. But like the evil antagonist in an ’80s action flick, Zero Sum just would not die, and in January of last year it resurfaced with an extremely slick new trailer and hope for a release that coming March.
That release never did come, but fast-forward a year later to GDC 2018 a couple of months ago and we sat down once again with Kearney to check out the latest progress on Zero Sum. And boy had it come a long way! Gone were the somewhat crude but still charming chalkboard graphics, replaced by much more contemporary visuals and really neat digitized animations of the characters who starred in the story portions of the game. It just looked on a whole new level in terms of polish, and I could feel in my gut that this would be the last time we’d be seeing an incomplete version of Zero Sum at a GDC. And it turns out I was right, as Zero Sum is now finished up and launching next Wednesday, May 16th. It’s actually up for pre-order too if that’s your thing, so if you click this link on an iOS 11 device you’ll be taken to the App Store to do the pre-order dance. Also if you’re curious on how the actual mechanics work in the game you can check out the video below, otherwise look for Zero Sum to finally launch next week for $1.99.