Magic Store Math

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Magic Store Math App Poster Image
Hands-on practice, not magic, makes this game effective.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can practice addition and subtraction up into the thousands using mental math or counting coins in the context of a store. Kids can choose between using mental calculation or using the token board to help visualize the coins. 

Ease of Play

No audio instructions, but all instructions are clearly written in easy-to-read, short phrases. Simple-to-understand game premise, and difficulty level increases as game progresses.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

No ads or in-app purchases. Other apps by this developer are promoted via an icon on the intro screen, but there's a parent gate (although the answers to the math questions to override the parent gate are pretty easy, and users are given multiple-choice options).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Magic Store Math is a math-practice game created for kids who are ready to work with numbers higher than 100. As the clerk at a magic store, a player determines the prices of customers' purchases. The game is played over 15 "weeks" (but a "day" can be finished in minutes). A timer keeps track of how long it takes the player to assist all the customers that day, and an "error count of the day" tallies the problems the player gets wrong. In terms of rewards, players get to choose new magic items when they complete a week within a certain time and with no errors. As the days progress, the addition and subtraction get more difficult, and kids can have separate accounts to track progress. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

In your role as the shopkeeper on MAGIC STORE MATH, you'll first select your username to set up your profile. The app will then tell you what week and day you're on for this session. As customers enter, the items they want to buy appear over their heads. Find and tap the items the customer asks for on the store shelves to see the prices. Then players calculate the total cost, either mentally or by counting coins: Kids can spilt and combine coins in a special work area. Enter the total into the calculator-like cash register. If the total is wrong, a frustrated noise sounds along with a written message that it's not the correct amount owed, and then players can try again. When a certain number of customers have been served, the app alerts the player that they've completed the round and how many minutes it took to do so. Then players can opt to continue to the next round, or it will be saved until the next session.

Is it any good?

Most kids love to play store, so combining math problems with a magic-store simulation game is a fun way to get kids practicing. Created by an Icelandic app developer with support from the Iceland Educational Foundation, Magic Store Math has visuals that are different from the typical, non-themed math app and quite eye-catching, including some mildly spooky, potion-making items (such as snakes or a green hand in jars). However, there's no actual "magic" in this app. Instead, kids can practice some mental math and either add the total cost of each item or break each price into smaller coins. Though this option definitely adds to the app's value, it still is a bit repetitive after awhile. A second activity -- such as buying new items from a supply store -- would add more depth and interest to an otherwise solid game.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the two ways players can arrive at their answers on this app. Kids can use the "token board" to visualize the coins separately and together or use mental calculation. Which one does you kid like better? Why?

  • Consider giving your kid some coins to purchase their own items at a candy store or some other store where they can add small, low-priced items that equal more than a dollar.

  • Talk about how consistent practice can help make math easier. More than one kid can have a username on this app, so you can save each player's game progress, which may add some competitive fun between students and siblings to see who can come back most often and complete the most days first.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Math: addition, money, subtraction
  • Price: $2.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: June 27, 2016
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Magic and Fantasy
  • Size: 56.50 MB
  • Publisher: Gebo Kano ehf.
  • Version: 1.02
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later

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