Bottom line: A continuation of Math Mathews’ adventures from his last app, this time with addition and subtraction. A great way to practice mental math skills, it offers the fun of Math Mathews to a somewhat younger crowd than the first app.
Kiupe’s wacky pirate Math Mathews is at it again, this time exploring the Temple of the Earth in search of pirate treasure. The temple has eight areas of play, each of which is unlocked when the previous one is mastered. The app’s purpose is to help kids practice their mental math skills – the ability to answer simple addition and subtraction problems without pausing to count on their fingers.
Each level consists of four levels of difficulty, ranging from easy (problems using numerals 1 through 5), to expert (problems involving numerals 1 through 99). The app calculates a high score, and keeps track of keys earned and gold found in the little arcade game that users play between math episodes. One of my complaints with the first Math Mathews app was that the game play went on too long without a break. The folks at Kiupe have heeded my cry and fixed that this time around – each math game is brief, a fun burst of brain power, and each is followed by a brief reprieve in the form of the arcade game. Once enough keys are earned, the next level is unlocked and the treasure hunt continues.
Like the previous Math Mathews app, this one relies heavily on back story. Every level begins with a little comic-book explanation of what’s going on and why Math Mathews and friends are looking for treasure to begin with. But if you want the whole story, you have to buy the first app. This one, much like sequels everywhere, doesn’t attempt to retell the entire story. You don’t have to know the story to enjoy the app, but it helps.
There’s plenty of content here to keep a kid busy for days, and there’s a section with hints on how to perform mental math. By practicing with the app and using the techniques provided, your little mathematician should make some significant progress on mental math skills.
Like all Kiupe’s apps, this one contains no ads, no external links and no in-app purchases, which makes it perfect for my first grader. It has space to create profiles for up to ten users, and provides an update for each on the progress they’re making – very useful for parents and teachers who want to monitor that.
The app says it’s for ages three and up, but that’s a bit implausible for a couple of reasons. First, there’s very little here that could be mastered by anyone under the age of about five. Second, the back story stuff between levels requires some pretty heavy-duty reading, and there’s no “read-aloud” option. Without some narration, my six-year-old can’t even play this app by herself, so I don’t think a three-year-old could, either. If Kiupe wants to market this to kids as young as three, I would suggest the addition of some audio. There’s also no way to mute the music without muting the iPad, and you all know how we feel about that around here.
Overall, this app isn’t as complicated as the first Math Mathews offering, which is fitting, considering it’s for a slightly younger crowd. My daughter is still too young for the first app, so she was delighted that this one was meant for her. She’s still mastering the whole idea of math that doesn’t involve counting on her fingers, so this practice session with mental math skills was really helpful for her.
Highly recommended, especially in connection with the back story spelled out in the first app.
Emilie still doesn't like math, but she's pretty fond of Math Mathews. SmartAppsForKids.com was paid a priority review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.