Basic Math with Mathaliens

App review by
Jonathan H. Liu, Common Sense Media
Basic Math with Mathaliens App Poster Image
Capture aliens by solving basic math problems.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The game is very easy to learn and has three difficulty settings for each game. Instructions are included for adjusting settings, but most likely you won't need them.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

On the info screen, there is a link to the developer's website.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Basic Math with Mathaliens is an arithmetic app that includes two games, Mathaliens Bingo and Hunting Mathaliens. Math Bingo presents a 3 by 4 grid of numbers with a math problem at the top; finding a correct answer turns the answer square into a cartoon alien. The fewer mistakes you make, the higher your score. Hunting Mathaliens presents five rounds of five problems each. Solve the problems in a given amount of time, or lose a life. Survive all five rounds, and get rewarded with a "mathalien," which can be displayed in the gallery. Both games allow the player to choose addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division in three different difficulty levels. A free version of the app, Basic Math with Mathaliens Lite, is restricted to subtraction problems only. There is also a version customized for the iPad: Basic Math with Mathaliens HD.

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Is it any good?

Overall, BASIC MATH WITH MATHALIENS is an excellent game, especially the Mathaliens gallery which keeps track of who earned each alien and for which game -- it's an excellent reward system for kids. There are only a few minor issues. Playing bingo on a 3 by 4 grid is somewhat odd, since you can win with three across or four down. It would make more sense to keep it a square grid despite the devices' screen orientation. Also, on the Hunting Mathaliens game, the hardest difficulty level uses mostly double-digit numbers, but still includes equations with adding zero or one, which are much too easy for that level. More consistently easy or difficult questions would improve the game. The cartoon aliens are cute and colorful, and the collectibles in the Hunting Mathaliens game providegood incentives tokeep playing (and learning).

App details

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