Mystery Math Town
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mystery Math Town is a goal-based game that provides daily math practice. It has a dark, mysterious mood, but it's not scary at all. The townspeople, portrayed in talking portraits, reveal bits about the town and themselves in funny, sometimes snarky, comments, albeit nothing objectionable or risqué. After kids search for hidden numeric fireflies to save, kids use those numbers to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. No data or progress is tracked for assessment. There also is a version that's compatible on iPhones (Mystery Math Town for iPhone).
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- thinking critically
Engagement, Approach, Support
Mystery Math Town draws kids in with zany characters, a mysterious story, and fun, interactive graphics.
The story line and characters here engage kids and give them a purpose: to save the fireflies. In the math problems, kids see the solution and must create the problem themselves, adding a level of challenge.
Kids can use "lifelines" if they want to skip a problem. The tutorial on the start page includes detailed written instructions and some helpful hints. Good customization options let you tailor gameplay to a kid's skill level.
What's it about?
Kids are on a mission to help find fireflies that have been trapped in jars and hidden in houses throughout MYSTERY MATH TOWN. To find the fireflies, they move through different houses in the town, collecting numbers as they rescue the fireflies. They'll need the numbers because to move from room to room, through doors, out windows, or up and down stairs, they'll have to solve reverse math problems. For example, kids see 1, 2, 5, 8, and 9 and must choose two numbers to add up to 10. Finding the fireflies in one house unlocks the next house, where the maze-like rooms get trickier and the math problems do too. In some houses, kids also can collect gold coins to be used to buy portraits for their galleries. Those portraits also have lots to say, about each other, themselves, and the town. Kids create their own avatars (although only one skin tone is available), and multiple users can create profiles on the same device. Players can customize the level of math challenge, too.
Is it any good?
Listening to a kid playing Mystery Math Town, parents might not realize right away their kid is working on math because of the guffaws over the witty, sometimes snarky, talking portraits. But interspersed with the laughter, parents may pick up on the sounds of a kid being challenged by the progressively harder math equations as they have to search through the town's houses to find the numbers they need to create and solve problems. The mysterious setting, funny townspeople, and discoveries throughout the houses keep kids engaged, and the math keeps them challenged.
Families can talk about...
Steer kids to Mystery Math Town for daily math practice.
Talk about math and numbers as you go about your day, modeling solving backwards problems. For example: "I need to choose five fruits for your school snacks this week. How many ways can you make five?"