# What is the term for solving more complex problems by building off of simpler problems?

A few years ago, I watched a video about learning through intuitive leaps by learning simple rules first.

The part I remember was talking about Mario Galaxy. When Mario entered a new land, he would be presented with a very simple puzzle to continue forward. As an unreal example, the first puzzle showed that jumping on a certain box would make some squares on a checkerboard solid and others ghosted. So you jump on the box to make a path across. The next puzzle took it a step further; there are multiple boxes and each one worked specific squares so you learned which boxes worked what squares. Next puzzle, you would have to turn on certain squares and turn off others. Then the final puzzle it added a 3rd dimension; not only a flat checker board, but some squares became walls you needed to turn off to pass through.

All of this is done by learning simple rules first and then applying them to increasingly harder puzzles.

Other examples of this concept would be "The Witness" and "Lemmings" video games.

In the video I saw, this concept had a clear, single word name. But I cannot remember that name. So I'm hoping that someone here knows that concept.

It is entirely possible that, since this was talking about Mario and its design, the word wasn't English. However I'm fairly certain it is.

• Elaboration might work. – The Photon Dec 13 '19 at 2:35
• I want to say that such games are progressive or iterative, but it's not clear to me exactly what sense is being looked for here. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Dec 13 '19 at 6:50
• Can you please provide a sentence indicating how you would use this word? You've requested a single word, but it's not completely clear if you mean a word to use together with "learning", as in "we mastered the game through [something] learning", or a word that itself implies learning, as in "we mastered the game through [something]". – nnnnnn Jan 12 at 9:28

I believe the word that you are looking for is cumulative

### Cumulative:

Or more specifically the concept of 'cumulative learning' which refers to an accumulation of knowledge and abilities over time which leads to a better understanding of how to complete certain tasks.