Mathable

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Mathable App Poster Image
A numbers version of Scrabble for kids confident in math.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can practice using addition, multiplication, division, and subtraction while playing Mathable. Kids will also learn how to apply their knowledge of basic math equations and make decisions to earn the most points in the game -- against the computer or real players. Kids can set the length of each player's turn from one minute to five minutes, depending on their skill and patience levels. As a result, they can opt either to think quickly or to spend time thinking through a multitude of options. Mathable combines math skills with critical thinking in a fun game for math-adept kids.

Ease of Play

This game is not self-explanatory, nor is the app's interface intuitive. Reading the two tutorials is a must.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mathable is a Scrabble-like math game that can be played solo or against another player. The app version of the board game of the same name may be overwhelming to younger players who don't have a solid command of basic math facts. For kids who do, and who read the tutorials provided, Mathable can be a fun way to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in a challenging way that combines math facts knowledge with some critical thinking skills and a bit of luck. Future versions will reportedly include the ability to connect with other players via Facebook. Mathable is likely to be a winner with kids for whom math is a favorite subject; for others, it may be too complex to be fun.

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What's it about?

First read the tutorials provided by MATHABLE. Then select single- or multi-player, difficulty level (normal or hard), and set the timer (one, three, or five minutes per turn). The game board will appear, along with a row of tokens (tiles, in Scrabble). Choose the tokens with numbers that make an equation on the board (following the rules) and tap Confirm Play to submit the equation that will score the most points on that turn. There’s a Best Move option that players can use three times to get hints. Players take turns making equations on the board.

Is it any good?

Mathable is a great way for young math whizzes to showcase their talents. The game can't be played just by viewing the board and jumping in, on the assumption that it's just like Scrabble. Rules are too varied and complex for that. After players read through the two tutorials, game play will likely be understandable, however. Above all, it's important for kids to have a good handle on basic math facts to play this game and enjoy it. Mathable can be a fun solo- or multi-player game that can be as fast- or slow-paced as kids want it to be (one, three, or five minute turns), as long as players understand the rules and have the math skills necessary to play.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Be sure your children read the two tutorials before playing Mathable or they may put it down before giving it a fair chance.

  • If your child is still learning his or her basic math facts, wait to introduce Mathable.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Math: addition, division, equations, multiplication, subtraction
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, decision-making, prediction, strategy, thinking critically
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: October 30, 2012
  • Category: Educational Games
  • Size: 42.90 MB
  • Publisher: Wooky Digital
  • Version: 2.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later

For kids who love math

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