Bottom line: If you have a child who needs to work on their math proficiency and speed, then Math Kingdom from Duo Pisceses, Inc. might be one tool you’d like to get. From the simplest of equations up to some downright challenging ones, this app will be helpful to a broad range of ages.
If you’d like to purchase Math Kingdom ($0.99), please use the handy link provided so they’ll know who sent you.
This app has no ads, no in-app purchases,), no external links
A few months ago, our own Heather reviewed Math Kingdom (you can see the original review here), but they’ve made some updates so we thought we’d give it another look.
To even enter this app, parents must answer a math question. Before you go getting too intimidated, it appears to be the same question every time (the cube root of 512) so don’t worry that your child is going to have to wait to play until you can do some cyphering. I have to admit, I don’t see the purpose in having to have a parent answer a question just to use the app. It seems a bit inconvenient to me and like it would make independent play a bit more difficult.
From the home screen, users can choose a play button or a sound button (which just mutes the music). Anyone who knows me can tell you that I muted that thing right away, because I usually find background music distracting (particularly in educational apps). Hitting play takes you to a screen where you can choose from any of thirty levels. Heather noted in her review that there was really no way to tell what each level might cover, and I have to agree. While it is logical that 1 is easiest and 30 is the most difficult, I wish that there had been some kind of chart at the bottom breaking the levels down into ranges of difficulty.
Starting off with level one, we see that we are presented with a whole screen of numbers and at the bottom is an equation that must be completed. Users are given the answer, but must choose numbers from above that get them to the correct answer. If the formula is filled in correctly, we will see a green checkmark. If it is incorrect, we will see a red X. Upon completion of the level, users can access a scorecard that shows their completion statistics. I did find myself wishing that there was a way to review the formulas that were incorrect, but I could find no way to do that.
The first four levels are simple addition (1), subtraction, (2), multiplication (3), and division (4). The next six levels are a mix of those operations within the level. Starting with level 11, things start to get a lot more challenging. Even though there was a timer for the first ten levels, we found that the math itself was simple enough that it didn’t present us with too much stress to complete things. Level 11 was where we really started to feel like we were fighting the clock.
I think that the timed nature of this app would be helpful for students that are already proficient and are just looking to work on their accuracy and speed (which can be helpful in preparing for testing). But for kids that might not be as competent yet, I can see that the challenge would quickly become discouraging.
As the difficulty increases with the levels, users must be familiar with the order of operations to be able to succeed. My ten year old easily made it through the first ten levels with me, but he found that the higher levels started to strain his ability when he was racing against the time (Note: it does appear that the higher levels do have more time, but it still is a race against it.) He won’t be outgrowing this app any time soon.
In her earlier review, Heather encountered issues where the numbers that she needed might not be available. It does seem that the developer corrected this issue, because I didn’t experience that at all. They also added and undo button so that users can back out of a formula if they start it off incorrectly.
What I liked:
- Simple interface
- Potential to cover multiple grade levels
- I’d like to see the addition of accounts for multiple users and some way to indicate progress for each user. The score card is OK, but it doesn’t help users remember what levels they have already covered in previous play-throughs.
- I think the ability to review incorrect answers would be essential in making this app a comprehensive math tool.
- The ability to play without a timer would alleviate the stress that some children might find as they progress into more difficult levels.
Overall, at $0.99 this app is more than fairly priced, even with the few weaknesses listed. It would be particularly useful for kids that are already proficient that just need to work on their speed. It is apparent that the developer is interested in making the app better because they appear to have taken some of the last reviewer’s suggestions to heart. With a little more tweaking this app could really turn into a valuable addition to your library. Four stars.
Kelli is ready for the weekend. Smart Apps for Kids was paid a fee to test and review this app.