Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

Mystery Math Town

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Mystery Math Town App Poster Image
Great math practice with fun story, entertaining characters.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and 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. Kids also use critical thinking and logic to move around the maze-like houses in search of fireflies and golden coins. More informative progress tracking would give the app a boost. Mystery Math Town poses challenging math exercises in a fun, engaging way.

Ease of Play

Navigating through the houses is intuitive, as is the method for solving the math problems. Kids just tap the answers or tap where they want to go. A detailed help screen offers instructions as well as some tips for getting around.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Mystery Math Town includes no advertisements or links to other apps within the game, but the start screen does include a link to other Artgig Studios apps in the iTunes store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 year old Written byJD W. January 3, 2015

Great app for learning subtraction

My 7 yr old loves this, and is getting a lot of subtraction practice. Well worth the cost.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

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.

Developer Artgig Apps, also creator of the excellent Marble Math apps, includes great features on Mystery Math, including customization options, a well-done help section with strategy hints, and a kid-friendly, plain-English privacy policy in the app. It does not, however, track progress or data, so it's hard to assess how a kid is doing.

Talk to your kids 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?"

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Math: addition, division, multiplication, subtraction
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic, strategy, thinking critically
  • Price: $2.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid (An iPhone version is also available for $2.99.)
  • Release date: April 3, 2013
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
  • Size: 300.00 MB
  • Publisher: Artgig Studio
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love math

Our editors recommend

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

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate