Last year, I reviewed an amazing app called DragonBox Algebra 5+. It uses a fun gaming approach to secretly teach algebra. I was impressed by how the app is able to cover so many algebra topics in just a few hours.
Recently, the developer released an app called DragonBox Elements, which secretly teaches geometry to kids ages eight and up through gaming. In addition to teaching them about the basic of geometry, it lets them construct Euclidian geometrical proofs by solving more than 110 puzzles.
Collect the Warriors and Fight Your Way Up the Tower
DragonBox Elements is a long journey of tribe leaders fighting to get rid of the dark spiders that infest the land. Kids help them collect enough warriors to fight by solving puzzles and climbing their way up the tower.
They start the journey by performing the basic gesture: line drawing. The first shape that they will draw is a triangle. In the early puzzles, successfully drawing a triangle means they can unlock a warrior.
As they progress through the app, new warrior types will be introduced to represent different kinds of geometrical shapes. For example, the warrior that represents an isosceles triangle is different from the one that represents an equilateral triangle or a quadrilateral.
Starting with the basics of line segments, and the difference between a triangle and a quadrilateral, the app progresses to show what congruent sides are and how they can be used to distinguish an isosceles triangle from an equilateral triangle. Kids will also learn how rotating a circle radius can help propagate one line segment to another in the same circle.
As the journey progresses, they will learn about angles and how to propagate an angle to its opposite. They will also learn about different types of quadrilaterals, parallel lines, and congruent angles over a traversal line.
Each puzzle is actually a geometrical puzzle waiting to be proven mathematically. The puzzles in the later stages may require kids to use all of the geometrical theorems in combination.
Once kids have completed all the puzzles in a single chapter, they get to use the warriors to fight the dark spiders. Drag the warriors to fight the spiders, then continue traversing through the villages.
Parents Need to Know
DragonBox Elements has three difficulty levels. The easy level is suitable for kids ages eight and up, while the hard one is challenging enough for adults to enjoy as well. In total, there are 110+ levels that you can play throughout the seven chapters.
The app takes its inspiration from Euclid, a Greek mathematician who wrote the most influential work in the history of mathematics. Called Elements, the work describes the foundations of geometry.
The levels serve as a learning ground where players can explore these concepts and use the Euclidian approach to provide mathematical proof to a geometric shape. The gameplay can help kids gain an instinctive understanding of the different properties of geometric shapes and angles.
If you’re still wondering what the app can teach your kids, download the free Parent Manual and Teacher Manual on the developer’s website. The Teacher Manual clearly explains these concepts beyond what the app covers.
Things I Like
After spending 3+ hours to clear all the levels in the DragonBox Elements, I can testify that the app never really enforces the concepts in mathematical terms. Instead, it uses the warrior figures to represent each geometrical theorems. You can get a full access of all definitions, properties, and theorems that you have unlocked in the Polydex section.
Playing with DragonBox Elements doesn’t feel like learning a difficult subject. Each time you try to collect a warrior, you’re essentially playing to construct an Euclidian proof. And if you find a puzzle to be too difficult, it’s because you need to combine more than one theorems to solve it. But, it never feels like you’d be struggling with understanding the concepts themselves.
DragonBox Elements is a well-designed adventure game for kids ages 8+ that will secretly teach them the various geometrical definitions, properties, and theorems. Through puzzle gameplay, kids won’t notice that they’re actually learning how to construct an Euclidian proof. It’s an impressive app that successfully creates an innovative way to teach a non-trivial subject like geometry.
App was provided for our honest review.