Math Runner Plus
What parents need to know
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.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- academic development
Engagement, Approach, Support
Sights and sounds are engaging but sometimes confusing. Gameplay is repetitive -- you have to do a lot of the same before you get to the end of a game, which is the only way to save your score.
Content has narrow application. App doesn't always respond to progress. Users don't see mistakes until much later. The deepest challenge is remembering multiple numbers while adding more -- not necessarily an important skill.
Help is simply the first game played for you with an overlay of the equation 1+2=3, a nice feature absent from the rest of the game. Limited scoring is available from the main menu; somewhat meaningless scores appear at the end of each game.
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.
Families can talk 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.