Educational games are effective to ease a child’s learning process. They engage kids to learn, and challenge the notion learning is boring. We have had many great educational games on the blog, and today we are adding one more to that count. Introducing Math Mathews: Mental Math by developers Kiupe.
Math Mathews: Mental Math is an educational app that is part math drill, part adventure quest. The app tests the player’s math fluency through 8 fun-filled levels focused on addition and subtraction.
The stars of the game is Captain Mathews, an ill-tempered pirate who was turned into an octopus by the goddess Sylla. To undo his curse, Captain Mathews and his crew journey into Sylla’s temple. This is where the learning comes in: to get to the altar, players must help Captain Mathews solve complete short quizzes of increasing difficulty.
In each level, players can also choose a difficulty level according to their skills: Easy, Medium, Difficult, or Expert. The difference between each difficulty level is the number set that is used to generate the problems. Easy level produces simple math problems involving numbers 1-5, while Medium numbers 1-9. Difficult level involves numbers 1-20, and Expert (obviously the toughest) works with numbers 1-99.
To solve a problem, the players need to find the missing number from a math operation, for example 1 + 4 = ? The problems start out simple, however as the game progresses the challenge becomes more apparent. For example, the problem set in Level 4 (Expert) may look something like this: 77 - ? - 19 = 15. Furthermore, the game also switches from multiple choice format to free input in the middle levels, which doubles the challenge.
For every math problem solved, players can earn keys that will unlock subsequent levels. If players can solve a problem correctly on the first try, they will earn three keys. The number of keys is deducted for every wrong answer. However, the app does not employ a time limit for answering questions, so players can take as long as they need.
Finally, in addition to solving math problems, players also need to help control Captain Mathew’s runaway cart through an underground track to collect coins. These coins are then converted into scores. The cart is controlled ala Tiny Wings — tap on the screen to make the cart jump, and release to make it drop.
Parents Need to Know
Math Mathews: Mental Math supports multiple user profiles. Up to 10 profiles can be created on the same device, and progress will be kept separately for each one. This makes the app especially useful in a classroom setting. Teachers or parents can then monitor each user’s progress from the Logbook section.
To get the most out of the app, juniors can check out the Hints and Tips section for some useful tricks in performing mental calculations. These tricks include using round numbers to aid in calculations, and then adding/subtracting the necessary digits to get the results. For example, to add 9, just add 10, then take 1 away at the end.
The app has neither ads nor in-app purchases. There is an unobtrusive ad to the developer’s other app, however it does not point to any external link.
Things I Like
Math Mathews: Mental Math is a terrific app that successfully promotes math fluency through an epic adventure game. Design-wise, the app has all the elements of an enticing game: polished graphics, a well-written narrative, and distinctive characters. There is also a clear goal that players can work towards — that is, help Captain Mathews regain his normal form.
I also like that the app has several difficulty levels to accommodate kids at different learning stages. The equations in Easy level do feel a bit repetitive as they only involve numbers 1-5, but the ones in Medium and higher levels prove to be quite a challenge even for adults. The fact that the app also supports multiple user profiles makes it suitable for both home and classroom settings.
My only complaint is that the app stutters when many coins are collected at the same time. This takes away the fun a bit, so I hope it gets fixed in later updates.
Overall, learning math with Math Mathews: Mental Math has been enjoyable. The app has everything it needs to be a hit with kids and parents everywhere: a fun and educational gameplay, a fantastic narrative, and unique characters. Multiple difficulty levels also mean that this app is accessible to kids with varying degree of skills. I would highly recommend it for parents who want to improve their juniors’ mental math skills.
App was provided for our honest review.