A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
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.
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.
Products & Purchases
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.
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.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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