A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
MATH AGENT pits kids against a friend or family member or an AI character. In single-player mode, kids play against the computer, but in multiplayer, they can play against another device on the same network (Androids can pair with Androids, iOS with iOS). A game of rock, paper, scissors chooses the starting player. This player chooses an attack card and one or more number cards to go with it. For example, the multiplication/division card allows you to choose two numbers from your hand and multiply them for an attack. The exponent card allows players to choose one of their cards and pair it with a 2 card to play that number times itself. There are also "Unstoppable Attack" cards that are not easily defended. The end result of the math equation is the attack score. The second player then chooses a defense that cancels out the attack score if possible. This could mean subtracting a number, multiplying by zero, or figuring out the perimeter of a shape using the value of one card. If the defense value is higher, nothing happens, but if it's lower, the defender loses the difference in points. The goal is to deplete your opponent's score before they deplete yours. There are various special cards, such as the x>y card, which means that the attacker is betting that the numbers in his or her hand add up to more than those in the defendant's hand. Math Agent also includes "Challenges," which are math drills around specific skills, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Completing a challenge unlocks a special card that players can use in their game.
Is it any good?
This is a clever way for kids -- even reluctant math learners -- to practice math skills together while having a lot of fun along the way. Math Agent plays on the popularity of trading card games (such as Pokémon) while sneaking in lots of practice. It's quite brilliant and it's bound to draw in kids who love a bit of a challenge and a lot of competition. It would be helpful if there were mini-lessons for each of the cards beyond the basics. The descriptions and examples on the cards help, but if kids haven't learned a skill or term, there's not enough to help them figure it out. The iOS version of the app occasionally freezes and crashes, which is especially frustrating at the end of a long multiplayer match when you're in the lead. Still, it's a way to make math more fun and to engage with each other, and it's something that can be enjoyed across skill levels. A great add for late elementary and middle school devices.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about math in general and using apps like Math Agent to practice. What do each of the cards in the game mean? How might you use those skills in real life?
Families can talk about learning with apps. Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What can you learn?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Math: arithmetic, geometry, numbers
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic, strategy, thinking critically
- Pricing structure: Free (single player is free, multiplayer requires tokens, $0.99 for 100)
- Release date: October 8, 2018
- Category: Educational Games
- Size: 110.60 MB
- Publisher: Human Factored Design, LLC
- Version: 2.0.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 11.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up
- Last updated: July 11, 2020
Our editors recommend
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.