Math Jam (lost Apple II educational math-tutoring video game; 1985)

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Math Jam.png

Cover art for Math Jam.

Status: Lost

Math Jam is an educational game released for the Apple II computer in 1985. The game was published and developed by JAM Software, now known as Naughty Dog (later creating video game franchises such as Crash Bandicoot, Jak & Daxter, Uncharted, and The Last of Us). It is considered to be the first video game created by the company. The game focused on solving math problems in a more fun and engaging way.

The game featured a funny character wearing sunglasses named "Jammer". The character would give the player different reactions depending on the answers. The character would later appear in JAM Software's second title, Ski Crazed.


In 1984, Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin, two high school students, founded JAM Software in McLean, Virginia. At the time, the company was a small third-party video game developer.

According to Jason during an interview, him and Andy were 14 years old when they created the game. It was made for a friend who had problems teaching younger children math. They made this math game to make solving math problems more fun.[1]

By copying the game onto five and a quarter inch discs, copying the basic instructions, and sticking it all in a Ziploc bag, they started selling Math Jam to schools in 1985 until they ran into a pretty serious conundrum: the game was a success and schools wanted to buy the game and give it to students in various departments. However, according to Jason, they were ordered to get multiple approvals from four psychologists, sixteen teachers and references from other school districts. Because of this, the game got shelved. Jason and Andy decided to give the game to the school for free instead of selling it.[2][3]

Andy Gavin is credited as the programmer, Jason Rubin as the artwork artist, and Peter Steinberg as the designer.


Unlike their second game (Ski Crazed), no copy or footage exist online. The only thing exist is the art cover for the game.