Math Ninja, a math-practice app from Razeware apps, provides multiple levels of play with a ninja-themed game for fun and reinforcement. There is also a limited free version with the first four chapters included (links below.)
Each level in Math Ninja is a chapter and starts with a brief story. The player is a ninja in a treehouse, shooting a weapon by tapping the screen at cat and dog robots to keep them from the treehouse. (History tells of many epic ninja and the Cat-Bots and Dog-Bots.)
If the player's health meter gets to zero, Tomato-San (the enemy leader in this game) will win and steal the ninja treasure from the treehouse.
Here's how the game works: After defeating a wave of enemies by shooting various ninja weaponry at them from a treehouse perch, math problems are presented to solve. Each level has two sets of math problems, and each problem solved earns money to be used in the game's store for additional and upgraded weapons.
The customization is very well done, allowing for use by a wide range of ages; both my second grader and my fifth grader were challenged. At the start of each new game, you choose the game difficulty level: Easy (no timing on math and easier to defeat robots), Normal (generous time limit, normal robot difficulty), and Ninja (limited time to complete math, very difficult robots). After choosing the level, the type of math problem is selected. You can choose to turn on or off each of the four basic mathematical operations, and the specific range of numbers (0-99) can be selected in the Custom setting.
This is not an app that teaches new math concepts, but a fancier presentation of flash cards, with some action and strategy added in for fun and motivation. My second grader was a Ninja for Halloween and plays with Ninjago Lego sets every day; this app speaks his language, and makes math practice fun.
The strategy of the game, the ability to save up money and earn more weapons, and the increasing challenge keep him engaged and eager to practice math. The graphics are not sophisticated, but he didn't care.
Three different games can be saved, allowing for continued play at a later time. No "but mom, I have to keep playing or I will lose all my money!" excuses from your child on this app. I started with the free version, but after just one day they used their new ninja skills to convince me to upgrade to the paid version. At just $1.99, it was well worth it! At first, they were tempted to choose the Easy level, but Normal and Ninja give more problems and earn more money, so they independently chose to work harder! Math drills have never been more fun.
I won't be using this app in therapy, as it would be difficult to use in a group and has limited ability to integrate into speech and language therapy. Teachers may not find it ideal, as it does involve shooting/throwing weapons. Not all kids will find defeating robots and the ninja theme engaging, but for parents of the kids who do, this game is inexpensive, engaging, customizable, and definitely worth downloading.
If you would like to download Math Ninja please use the links provided. The cost is the same, but Smart Apps receives a small percentage. Thanks for your support!