Mathmateer (formerly Rocket Math)

Common Sense Media says

Practice math skills and launch a rocket ship into space.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Although Mathmeteer contains much material to learn and practice, including arithmetic at three different ability levels, the game is not intuitive and only has partial instructions. Navigating the screens can be confusing because it's possible to get to some screens in more than one way. Once the app is played for a while, however, game play becomes clearer.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

A link on the main screen goes to a page listing the publisher's other apps. Tapping one offers an option to get more information through the iTunes store.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mathmateer is an educational arithmetic and basic math game. Kids solve problems -- choosing from addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division -- to earn money to build rockets. Each operation includes questions at three difficulty levels, with more difficult problems earning kids more money. When they've earned enough money, kids can design and build their own rockets, which can then be launched into space on missions. Kids help guide the rocket on its trajectory by tilting the device. Missions cover such topics as odd and even numbers, money, shapes, telling time, fractions, and decimals. When the rocket reaches space, kids tap numbers or answers that fit the mission as quickly as possible before the rocket reenters the atmosphere and lands. Kids are awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals if they attain a certain score for the mission. Mathmateer allows multiple profiles, so up to five kids can design rockets and earn medals, as well as choose profile names and avatars.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • addition
  • division
  • multiplication
  • subtraction

Science

  • physics

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving

Creativity

  • making new creations

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Space theme saturates the whole game, making the arcade-style play really fun. The placement of math problems in space is awkward, though, and can be hard to see in the heat of beat-the-clock play.

Learning Approach

Although math isn't baked into the rocket part, it is a physics-learning experience. The math content is rich, covering all four operations, money, time, even and odd numbers, and shapes on six levels, from beginner to genius.

Support

Figuring out how to launch the rockets takes some trial and error since there are no instructions. Stats on the rocket's flight and on math problems answered correctly are reported but not tracked over time.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • addition
  • division
  • multiplication
  • subtraction

Science

  • physics

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving

Creativity

  • making new creations

Kids can learn math -- including addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, time, money, and square roots. As a fun reward, they'll learn a little about the physics of rockets. The rocket-building and launching part of the app is not very intuitive and is not explained, so it does require some trial and error to figure out, which is actually a fun discovery process. The main educational thrust of the app is practicing math facts; rocket-building brings extra fun to the mix.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

MATHMATEER is an educational arithmetic and basic math game. Kids earn money to build rockets by solving problems -- choosing from addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Each operation has questions at three difficulty levels -- easy, medium, or hard -- with more difficult problems earning kids more money. When they've earned enough money, kids design and build their own rockets, which can then be launched into space on missions. Kids help guide the rocket on its trajectory by tilting the device. Missions cover such topics as odd and even numbers, money, shapes, telling time, the four operations, fractions, decimals, and square roots, at six levels of difficulty, from novice to genius. When the rocket reaches space, kids tap numbers or answers that fit the mission as quickly as possible before the rocket reenters the atmosphere and lands. Kids are awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals if they reach a certain score for the mission.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Mathmateer is a unique game with a variety of math concepts and skills to learn and some creative elements to play with. The many difficulty levels and topics make this app useful for a wide age range. Since there are medals and in-game money to earn, and a variety of rockets to build, this app can be played and replayed, providing a different experience each time. The interface is very attractive and futuristic. Before enjoying the game play and rocket building, however, learning how to use the app presents a challenge. There's no introduction explaining how the game works, so a bit of trial and error is required.

The general idea is to solve four types of arithmetic problems to earn money to build a rocket. The rocket must be designed to actually fly. One rocket booster asymmetrically placed, or an underpowered rocket, for example, won't launch the rocket into space, and the mission can't be performed. There are plenty of cosmetic and quirky options for rockets, including an English phone booth for a rocket body and a smiley face for a decoration. When a rocket is well designed, it can be launched into space to complete one of many math missions.

Families can talk about...

  • Explain to your kids that they need to answer math problems to earn money to build a rocket before they can launch one into space.

  • Discuss that strong math skills are the basis for many careers, including astronaut and rocket scientist.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free - $.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:September 18, 2013
Category:Education
Size:21.50 MB
Publisher:Dan Russell-Pinson
Version:2.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Mathmateer (formerly Rocket Math) was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 3 and 7 year old Written byMomof22010 March 23, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Needs work

I love the concept of this game but it isn't very user friendly. You have to play around to figure out what to do next, and at first my attempts weren't successful. All in all a good app that needs a little work for better flow.
Parent of a 11 year old Written byct82010 October 21, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Awesome Feedback

Definitely good for kids. I used it last year with my 5th graders, and they were fighting for it! Everybody should try to use it, kids experiment with many kinds of equipment to see which can make their point-earning rocket blast off to a higher altitude.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent of a 8 year old Written bycab1 October 8, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Trying to meet the challenge to build the best rocket is a great incentive for my son to remember and learn new math facts!

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