Norm of the North's Digit Dodge

App review by
Galen McQuillen, Common Sense Media
Norm of the North's Digit Dodge App Poster Image
Film promotion's simple math and snowball fights fall short.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to quickly recognize very simple true/false equations involving single digits and the four arithmetic operations, but though it's certainly useful to verify these on sight, there are much better ways to teach kids a meaningful intuition for basic calculations. Here, they're presented basically as flash cards with a snowball-throwing mechanic and popular movie characters, which may increase the excitement of playing the game but won't do anything for the quality of learning. Though kids can review what they got right and wrong after each round, the correct answers aren't available. All in all, Norm of the North's Digit Dodge is a math game designed to get kids excited about a film franchise, not a game with movie characters designed to get kids excited about math.

Ease of Play

Only four buttons, and there's a nice tutorial explaining what they do, but it's tricky to figure out how to play as a single player (ignore the second player), and it's not explained. 

Violence & Scariness

Competitive snowball battle between a polar bear and lemmings; polar bear gets black eyes after getting hit several times.

Sexy Stuff

Features characters from a popular film and includes a link to a trailer for the film. Very limited range of math calculations available in the free version. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Norm of the North's Digit Dodge is a simple math flash card game featuring the film franchise's title character and his companion lemmings who throw snowballs at each other based on the players' responses. The game can be played alone or simultaneously with two players and gives some exposure to elementary school math equations. All the animations are fun, goofy, and pretty mild, but Norm does get black eyes after being hit with multiple snowballs. The number of equations available in the free version of the app is pretty limited, but an in-app purchase unlocks larger numbers, multiplication, and division. Note that the developer may use account information for third-party advertising. Read the app's privacy policy to find out more about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

NORM OF THE NORTH'S DIGIT DODGE is a game where the film's title character and his lemming friends throw snowballs at each other in a one- or two-player competitive math game. Kids must decide whether an elementary school-level math equation is right or wrong, and if they respond correctly before their opponent does, their character lobs a snowball at the opposing side. Once a player throws enough snowballs to reduce the opponent's energy bar to 0, the game is over. There are also a few special moves that can be used to distract the opponent, such as blocking a view of the buttons or switching their placement on the screen.

Is it any good?

As a digital version of a snowball fight, it doesn't do a great job of translating the fun, and as a learning tool, it's little more than a set of true/false flash cards. Kids will likely lose interest quickly, unless they're hooked by the game's main draw -- the characters and setting from Norm of the North -- and as the app is primarily a promotional vehicle for the movie, that makes sense. Parents shouldn't expect much learning, though two kids can play at once and practice basic math skills, so some may find it worth the $0.99 for the full version.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about basic arithmetic and how it's useful in the real world to make quick mental calculations.

  • Discuss the joys and risks of friendly competition, both as depicted in the game's lighthearted snowball fight and in real-world two-player games such as this one. 

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love math apps

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