Bottom Line: Well done and nice to look at but it needs more teaching moments rather than strict testing ones. There is also a link to another app right in the middle of an ending congratulations page.
On each of the five levels of Rony's Math, the main character, a raccoon, is trying to reach or help a friend and the child has to solve the math problems to complete each task.
For example, on the second level, Rony and her frog-friend want the child to pick lilies but only the odd numbered ones, in ascending order. Once that is complete, the child has to pick all the even numbered lilies in ascending order.
After each level is successfully completed, the child gets to play a whack-a-mole type game as a reward. This is called the "fun game" in the app and introduces different characters to whack for each successive level.
Rony's Math works well and looks and sounds nice; it looks like a game my four-year old daughter would really enjoy. I like the narration, by a child, and the graphics are cute and fun.
The problem is that, for the target audience, it doesn't go far enough to help the children learn what to do for each task.
On the first level, for instance, Rony says to place the logs to build the bridge in "ascending" and then "descending" order (two different sections of bridge). That kind of verbiage just isn't going to work for the target age, meaning the app will have to be a play-together activity with an adult. It does tell the child when they answer incorrectly but there no visual instructions or prompts/hints even if the child just sits there and does nothing.
In other words, my daughter Lily doesn't know what the words ascending and descending mean, so I would have to show her how to use the app on each level. If the app said "count up" or "count down" and had some visual clues or showed her how to start, she would learn something. As it is now, it's actually just a math testing/reinforcement app in really nice wrapping because the child is going to have to really know what they are doing mathematically to play (or have an adult explain what's going on to them.)
Another issue: On the final level, children are provided with paint brushes numbered 1-10 and asked to solve a math problem on a flower by painting it with the proper can-number. So, the flower has 4+5 on it and the child has to select the number 9 paint can.
The problem here is that there is a HUGE developmental difference between the first level (count from one to 10 forward and backwards) and doing math problems like 9-2, so I'm not sure who exactly the app is for. Those two levels are separated by several years of development.
If the app is targeting younger kids (and the iTunes description says 3+) then all of the levels are going to be too hard without far more visual prompting and help from the app. The flower level, for example, needed to be designed as a way to help children at an early level understand basic math. Each flower could have had the number of petals equal to the proper answer, so if the app asked what is three plus two they could have counted the number of petals to get five and chosen that.
At the end of the app the child is rewarded with all of the characters celebrating and right in the middle of the celebration is a link to one the developer's other apps. Not good. It really ruins the final page.
Take a quick look, but I'd wait until some of these issues are addressed.
If you would like to purchase Rony's Math please use the links provided. Thanks for your support!
This review was written by Ron Engel, who once saw a fight between a raccoon and a cat. smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.