App review by
Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Media
NineGaps App Poster Image
Race against time to place numbers in equations grid.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn and practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as they solve the puzzle grids, where they must work equations in reverse to determine missing numbers. NineGaps also helps kids develop puzzle-solving and strategy skills when their first solution isn't the correct one. Though more helpful feedback and math tips would give kids room to learn -- not just practice -- math, NineGaps is a challenging way for them to strengthen existing math skills.

Ease of Play

Kids can always access from the main screen the short and simple directions on how to play. Game play is intuitive, allowing kids to drag numbers to the correct locations. There are five levels: Novice, Medium, Advanced, Expert, and Master. Novice has many numbers already filled in, making it easier to figure out where the remaining numbers go. Master has no numbers filled in, so solving the equations is more of a challenge.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The main screen features a large link to other games by the publisher that can be purchased through the iTunes store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that NineGaps is an educational game that allows kids to practice arithmetic in a race against time. Kids drag digits 1 through 9 to empty slots in the equations, using each number only once. Numbers must be placed so the vertical and horizontal equations are all correct. Five challenge levels allow kids at multiple ability levels to play. Addition, subtraction, and multiplication are included in each level; division also appears in some levels. When numbers for one equation are placed so the equation is true, chimes play. Trumpets play when an equation is incorrect. To swap numbers, drag one number on top of another, and they'll trade places. The game's high score list shows the fastest time for each level.

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What's it about?

NINEGAPS challenges kids to solve a grid of six equations as fast as they can by dragging numbers to fill empty spaces. Kids must place numbers so each vertical and horizontal equation is correct. Equations include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Five levels accommodate a range of players. When kids complete each equation in the grid, they hear a chime for correct or a horn for incorrect.

Is it any good?

NineGaps is a fast-paced, entertaining math game in whch kids try to solve a grid of equations as fast as they can by dragging numbers into gaps. The rules are simple and multiple levels provide different challenges. Kids can try to beat their previous times on each level and improve their arithmetic skills. Other than choosing the playing level, no customization -- such as choosing operations for each puzzle -- is possible.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Encourage your child to consider alternate solutions to the equations in NineGaps; their first answer may not be the one that solves the puzzle.

  • Model problem-solving strategies by thinking aloud. Kids learn from your example.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love math

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