Bottom line: If your kids are working on learning their times tables, this app is well worth buying - recommended!
Times Tables: Squeebles is a multiplication game for grade school children that even I had fun playing. It’s part of a series of apps by British developer KeyStageFun so it does make reference to “maths” but don’t worry North Americans, your kids will still understand how to play.
The dastardly Maths Monster has captured 24 Squeebles and he’ll only release them if your child can correctly answer his multiplication questions! Your guide to the game is a Squeeble called Whizz who is himself rather bad at math but will spin round whimsically whenever touched. I’m unsure if he sticks his tongue out as a symptom of dizziness, or because he’s rather cheeky.
Here's what I like:
* Up to four different players can save their name, scores, themes and rewards.
* The variety of ways to answer multiplication questions enables the parent or teacher to test children in a manner that suits their skill level. The four question modes are:
1) Tables 1 to 12 – Pick a multiplication table and the Maths Monster will ask the child all twelve questions in a randomized fashion.
2) Tables Reversed – In this mode the child is asked random questions from all the tables and has to fill in the gap shown. For example: 8 x _ = 8.
3) Mix it Up – This consists of random multiplication questions from all the tables and includes both an Easy and a Hard setting.
4) Tricky Tables – This one I really liked: the game tracks the questions the child answers incorrectly and in this mode will ask only those questions. Great for identifying areas of weakness as well as providing practice in those areas.
* Answering each question correctly results in a big green checkmark and the more correct answers the more extra rewards are earned – additional spins for Whizz, stars, medals, trophies and best of all – the unlocking of new background themes as well as other Squeebles! I liked the mixture of positive reinforcements – some are immediate while others use delayed gratification to encourage the child to continue to play and practice in order to unlock additional themes and Squeebles.
* The game tracks each player’s total answers as well as the percentage of correct ones so the parent/teacher can see how they are progressing. It also keeps a table showing rewards earned – so the kids can compare their stats!
* A key component of the game for me is that it’s funny. The Maths Monster is a farcically grim-looking creature who seems to be fond of taunting. For example “Okay Deanne. You think you can answer some of these questions eh? Grrrr. Ha ha ha!!! You need to get another 15 questions right to rescue another Squeeble in this mode. Grrr.” I thought this was awesome – the child is given a clear goal (15 correct questions) and the "taunt" is expressed in a manner that I think most kids would get a giggle out of. When the child gets a question correct the poor Maths Monster is really disappointed - “Hmmm. You got that one right. Grrrr....” He reminds me of a cartoon Bond villain.
* The Squeebles themselves are also funny in an off-beat way. For example, Jingo is described as follows: “Jingo is quite shy and a bit nervous. He has a pet lizard called Arthur, who is also very shy. Favourite food: Cheese and pickle sandwiches. Favourite hobby: Flying his kite. Interesting Fact: Jingo can balance on his head and drink a milkshake at the same time!”
The only thing I would love to see a little more of in this app is interactivity in the reward system. The prizes are pretty static – it would be perfect if, for example, when a new theme is unlocked the child could play with their Squeebles on it. For 99 cents, though, this app is still one I would recommend – its colorful, engaging and funny – words that aren’t commonly associated with math.
If you would like to purchase Times Tables: Squeebles please use the links provided. The cost is the same, but Smart Apps receives a small percentage. Thanks for your support!
This review was written by Deanne Shoyer whose mental math is appalling which is obviously why she became an accountant.