On the earliest programmable consoles, it seems they always had a number of educational games, typically elementary concepts such as basic math. The 6th and 7th cartridges released on the Fairchild Channel F, in early 1977, were Math Quiz 1 and 2 - basic arithmetic games. The RCA Studio II's 10-cartridge library included TV Schoolhouse 1 and 2, 1 being a combined basic math/social studies game and 2 was called Math Fun. One of the Atari 2600's 9 launch titles was Basic Math and the Odyssey2 got two educational math games in 1978-1979. Even the Intellivision had a math game in its lineup of 8 games available at the initial test-market launch in December 1979, although it did spice things up a bit with an Electric Company theme.

I wonder why there were so many of these educational, specifically simple arithmetic games in the 1970s? Yes, there were educational games later on (I'm talking early 1980s) but those were usually furnished by third parties and very specifically niche market games, not to mention they were usually themed with some children's show and had some entertainment element to them as opposed to being a bare-bones "do the math problem" non-game. But I'm guessing cost was a big reason for these games falling off the radar. Atari 2600 games at launch were $20 - that's $96 in today's money. Would you rather drop 96 bones on some glorified math worksheet, or Combat?

I'd be willing to bet that Basic Math was the worst-selling of the 9 Atari 2600 launch titles, and I bet Math Quiz for Channel F and the math games for Odyssey 2 weren't flying off of shelves either. I would say that the TV Schoolhouse titles probably flopped on the Studio II as well, but when your console's graphics and sound are no better than hooking up a baked potato to your TV and jamming a cartridge in it, who really knows.