DragonBox Algebra 5+

App review by
Jonathan H. Liu, Common Sense Media
DragonBox Algebra 5+ App Poster Image
Kids learn concepts of algebra in stellar game app.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

Not yet rated

A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Kids can learn concepts for solving algebraic equations (those involving basic arithmetical functions but not quadratic equations) while playing this fun and challenging game. DragonBox+ requires no prior knowledge of algebra or arithmetic, and only requires the ability to read the instructions that appear from time to time (or an adult to help read them). The app is simple enough for young children to pick up but deep enough for middle school students. DragonBox+ sets a new standard for math apps.

Ease of play

DragonBox+ starts with very basic actions (tap this, drag this) and gradually adds additional actions with instructions as you play. You get penalized for making too many moves in a level, and sometimes this can be frustrating if a spare bump on the screen is interpreted as a wrong move. Younger children will need someone to read the instructions when they appear, but older children will be able to play the game without adult instruction.

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism

A small button on the title screen takes you to the app's website.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that DragonBox+ Algebra is an innovative educational app that through gameplay teaches kids concepts relating to solving algebraic equations. The app includes links to the developer's website as well as the app store, but does not require a user account or other online access.

User Reviews

Educator and Parent of a 6 and 10 year old Written byclcfh November 13, 2012

A painless way for children and adults to learn to solve algebraic equations

DragonBox provides a painless way to learn to isolate x in algebraic equations. The leveled puzzles start simple and with graphics only, then gradually replace... Continue reading
Educator Written byMathGameLover October 9, 2012

DragonBox - A Revolutionary Learning Game

By turning the rules of math into the rules of the game, DragonBox incentivizes kids to learn math simply by playing. They want to solve the problems so they c... Continue reading

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What's it about?

DRAGONBOX+ ALGEBRA exposes kids to basic algebra concepts by having them drag and drop little "cards" onto two trays on the screen. The goal is to isolate the sparkling box by itself, which is analogous to solving for x, but the algebraic concepts are presented in a way that makes them seem like rules to a game rather than mathematical concepts. It isn't until later that numbers, letters, and mathematical symbols start to appear gradually. As levels are solved, the various "dragons" grow, and players are awarded with stars for solving equations, using the fewest moves possible, and simplifying the equations.

Is it any good?

DragonBox+ is amazing: It is an app that is truly educational, rather than one that depends on an existing knowledge of the subject it purports to teach. It is not simply an interactive flash card app with multimedia bells and whistles thrown in. Learning the mechanics of the game is actually the act of learning concepts needed to solve algebraic equations, but the child doesn't even have to know that.

The algebra is not explicit at the beginning and can be played even with no understanding of basic arithmetic until the final levels of the game. As far as kids are concerned, they are just learning a new type of puzzle game. The equations become more complex as the game progresses, and by the last level they take the form of standard "solve for x" equations. What is most surprising about the app is that young kids can learn fundamental concepts of algebra in a matter of hours.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Provide similar equations and have kids work out the steps on paper, without the app's assistance. Solving equations on paper can be more difficult because errors can creep in.

  • Play the app along with your kids.

App details

For kids who love math

Our editors recommend

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