My four-year-old Philip has been playing with the app ever since it came out. Because the gameplay forces players to build equations instead of solving them, it has helped Philip master basic addition -- he can solve most addition equations, with operands up to 10, in just a few seconds. It surprises me that he has collected many talking pictures as the rewards for finishing various challenges in the app.
Last Thursday, Artgig Apps released a sequel to Mystery Math Town, called Mystery Math Museum. The new app uses the same game mechanics with a brand new town and eight new museums to explore. It’s a perfect app for juniors like Philip, who have played Mystery Math Town for months now.
Mystery Math Museum
Similar to the prequel app, in Mystery Math Museum you play as a little ghost who flies around collecting jars of dragonflies. Instead of moving between mansions, you now move from one museum to the next. The big museums, with all the rooms, balconies, and basements fit nicely with the maze-like gameplay that this game needs.
To collect the jars, you need to unlock rooms and passages throughout each museum. The gameplay doesn’t allow you to pass through locked doors, so you need to build the mathematical equation that would unlock each door. The operator and the result of the equation has been set, and you need to find the two operands that would fit into that equation.
Throughout the rooms, you will collect these operands, in the form of bubbles with numbers in them. You can collect them in your drawer, and use them to build the equations. Mystery Math Museum also has the same strategic plays as the original Mystery Math, including limited drawer space, three lifelines for when you’re stuck, dice and tallies to represent numbers, and extended coin collection gameplay to earn talking portraits for your Gallery. To learn more about the gameplay, I recommend reading my review of Mystery Math.
What makes Mystery Math Museum a worthy sequel is its inclusion of eight themed museums. Instead of exploring quirky mansions, the sequel allows you to learn about the items you typically find in museums. The eight themes are sports, wild west, vehicles, aerospace, music, ancient history, art, and prehistoric. The rooms, the paintings, and other ornaments inside the museum are designed to fit each museum’s theme.
Parents Need to Know
Similar to its prequel, Mystery Math Museum allows you to set up multiple user accounts. It’s great for family or small classroom settings. It is also possible to customize the difficulty level for each account. For example, I gave Philip the simplest one: additions of which result is no greater than 10.
If you’re setting up a difficulty level for your juniors, keep in mind that subtraction and division are much harder than addition and multiplication. Addition and multiplication are binary operations with commutative property. Because players are expected to build candidate equations and solve them mentally, it’s much easier to work with commutative operators. For example, even though Philip can already perform simple subtraction, it’s much easier for him to build addition equations of which the results are greater than 10. Matching operands to build a subtraction equation is much more difficult.
If you want your juniors to practice subtraction, it’s better for you to set the skill options to only include subtraction. Mixing the gameplay with addition will reduce the number of subtraction equations that they practice with.
If you insist on mixing two or more operators, try to keep it within the same range of operands. For example, selecting 1–20 for addition and 1–10 for subtraction will cause players new problems in managing the numbers in their drawers. The numbers between 11 and 20 are practically useless for the subtraction operator, yet they still need to be kept around because you never know which operator the next door will prompt you.
Things I Like
Even though Philip has never said that he’s bored with the prequel app, showing him this sequel excited him. He’s already familiar with the gameplay, and now he gets to play with the new town and themes.
In the original Mystery Math, the talking paintings were the only interesting things that you can interact with. In Mystery Math Museum, the items inside each museum bring interesting points of discussion with your juniors. The museum that Philip and I like the most is the music museum, which lets us interact with various musical instruments. We can talk about what they are and how they sound differently from each other.
Mystery Math Museum is definitely more than just your typical math app. The museum theme is also a great way for you to intrigue your juniors’ interests in visiting nearby museums. I wish there were more apps that would let juniors explore virtual museums, and increase their interests in music, art, and history.
Mystery Math Museum is a great sequel to Mystery Math Town. It offers the same game mechanics and rewards, while inviting juniors to explore eight themed museums in the new town. If your juniors have been playing the prequel for the past six months, it’s time to reward them with this sequel and boost their skills. If your juniors haven’t tried any of these apps, I suggest starting with the prequel app -- also just in time for Halloween -- and continuing with the sequel.
Mystery Math Museum is available for iPad
Get it on the App Store: iPad
App was provided for our honest review.