Math Runner Plus

App review by
Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Media
Math Runner Plus App Poster Image
Sometimes-confusing game needs better pacing, more variety.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to practice adding single- and double-digit numbers mentally. The easy level, appropriate for kindergarten to first grade, presents only single digits and a few possible sums at bottom. The more difficult levels, appropriate for second- or even third-graders, float up to six sometimes-overlapping addends across the screen and five or six possible sums to choose from at bottom. Scoring might appeal to kids but it's pretty meaningless. Math Runner Plus is a visually engaging game but is lacking in pace and variety.

Ease of Play

The interface is overly busy and confusing, and the levels are not organized well.

Violence & Scariness

Minor crashing sounds, small explosion, and pulsing comic skull and crossbones.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Math Runner Plus is a visually slick but narrow math addition game. What it lacks in scope it tries to make up for in depth. The easy level could be just right for an early elementary kid who needs practice adding one and two digit numbers mentally, while the very hard level provides extensive practice in adding sometimes six (!) two-digit numbers -- an advanced skill not normally emphasized by classroom teachers. 

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What's it about?

Small stylized birds and other critters fly addends in bubbles across various terrains toward a larger bird sporting an empty bubble for the target sum. Kids tap nests with possible sums to release baby birds, who rise into the air, mount a platform, and turn into marbles at the end. If an incorrect sum is selected, the baby birds disappear, the correct sum appears large but lacking contrast, and a "You Lose" message accompanies a small pulsing skull and crossbones.

Is it any good?

Math Runner Plus offers good depth in adding multiple addends mentally but lacks variety and pace. If your kid has a solid grasp of addition concepts, knows how to set up a problem both vertically or horizontally, and is ready to take on mental math for one- and two-digit numbers, then this app could work. Third-graders might enjoy the challenge of adding up to six addends at once but will be turned off by the easier levels.

The visuals are engaging but too busy. It's truly difficult to figure out where to tap or what you're supposed to do at first. The sounds are unique -- a marble hitting a hard surface, birds squawking -- but the squawk for an incorrect answer is the same as for a correct one. Every single game at every single level is the same, just with a different background and different numbers. Main menu levels -- easy, medium, hard, (even) very hard -- all start out the same: lowest single digits, literally 1 + 2 = 3. Each game is quite long and time consuming with nearly 30 equations each, but you must finish to collect your score. Each of five levels has 50 games. Scoring is complicated and quite meaningless.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Ask younger kids to add the numbers in an area code or phone prefix.

  • Ask older kids how many years everyone in the room has lived all together.

  • Ask your kids to come up with their own (non-counting) mental math problem.

App details

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