Mystery Math Museum

App review by
Brett Morrow, Common Sense Media
Mystery Math Museum App Poster Image
Fun math-practice app engages with several museum themes.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn addition, subtraction, and multiplication as well as algebraic thinking as they solve reverse-math problems. Kids see the answer and the operation along with a variety of numbers, and they choose which numbers get their answer. There can be more than one correct way to find the answer, which will reinforce arithmetic skills and algebraic thinking. Better feedback and more informative progress tracking would give the app a boost. Mystery Math Museum poses challenging math exercises in a fun, engaging way.

Ease of Play

This game is easy to play and figure out, although it's possible to get stuck and not know where to go or what to do next. When this happens, the game gives the player a clue about where to go or what to do next, although it doesn't provide help to answer the math questions. Also, the game's help screen is clear and very detailed.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language

When you tap on the paintings on the walls in the museums, the characters speak. There is some light joking and teasing, with phrases such as, "We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher."

Consumerism

Mystery Math Museum is ad-free, except for a link on the start screen for another app developed by Artgig that's available in the App Store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mystery Math Museum is a fun game that provides students with practice with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Kids explore the rooms of museums to collect numbers; they use these numbers to complete math equations to move from one room to another. Parents can customize the game by selecting the operations and ranges of numbers that will be used in the game. Parents also need to know that the game does not provide feedback to students for incorrect answers. If a kid has trouble with a particular math concept, the game won't provide any instruction to help teach or remediate it.

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What's it about?

MYSTERY MATH MUSEUM is a game wherein kids navigate through a series of museums to collect dragonflies. To move among the rooms of a museum, you must collect numbers and then use these to complete blank equations using the four basic operations. For example, you might collect the numbers 3, 4, 6, and 7 and then complete the equation "___ + ___ = 10." When you correctly complete an equation, you can move to the next room in the museum. There are multiple paths through each museum, and there is often more than one correct way to complete an equation with the numbers you've collected.

Is it any good?

Mystery Math Museum is fun. Each museum has a different theme, and, within each museum, each room has a different theme. The complexity of the math increases with each level, and the different themes keep the game interesting. Every room is full of surprises. For example, many items in each room make funny sound effects when tapped.

One of the best features is that parents can customize the math covered in the game to select which operations and ranges of numbers will be covered. Questions frequently have more than one possible correct answer, which helps kids see different forms of equations that are equivalent to each other. The math covered in the game is good for practice and mastery, but the game doesn't provide any feedback or help if you answer a question incorrectly. In theory, a kid could answer the same question incorrectly an infinite number of times without receiving any support to learn how to answer it correctly. You do get three "lifelines" so you can skip a question, but that only advances you to the next room and doesn't help you find or understand a correct answer. Kids who struggle may do better with apps that offer more feedback.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Customize the skills used in the app to a level appropriate for your kid.

  • Talk about math and numbers as you go about your day, solving backward problems. For example, "I need to choose five fruits for your school snacks this week. How many ways can you make five?"

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Math: arithmetic
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, strategy
  • Price: $2.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: October 24, 2013
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: History
  • Size: 390.00 MB
  • Publisher: Artgig Studio
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love math

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