App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Numbala App Poster Image
Visual lessons, basic math concepts via fun flying game.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Basic math concepts related to grouping, numerals, addition, subtraction.

Ease of Play

Easy to play. Brief tutorial, ongoing clues. Adjustable level of difficulty.

Violence & Scariness

When the spaceship runs into obstacles, the ship gets damaged and players lose a "life." When the lives run out, the game is over.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Numbala is a math game that introduces kids to beginning math concepts through a visually appealing flying game. The game is introduced through an images-only story that sends kids on a flying mission to rescue a cute dog. As kids fly the spaceship through areas filled with obstacles, numerals, groups of dots, and other visuals, they can see how grouping and numbers work on a conceptual level. The game's difficulty level can be adjusted in settings as kids move through the more than 20 levels. Labeled as "cognitive training" by the developer, Numbala was created in conjunction with university scientists in Poland seeking to gamify math learning. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.


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What's it about?

To play NUMBALA, enter your name, gender, and birth date, and then set the level of difficulty. Tap play to begin on Level 1, called "Pinomba Island." Watch the visual storyline on which gameplay is based, and view the visual tutorial on the game's number line. After you begin, watch the on-screen hand for clues. Tap the number on the flying ship that matches the number of dots or numeral in the airscape where your character is flying to line them up, fly through them, and earn points. As the levels progress, players use different skills (shooting lasers, avoiding obstacles, numeral recognition, addition, and subtraction).

Is it any good?

This flying ship-themed game is a fun, visually appealing way to learn basic math concepts. Besides looking nice, the great thing about Numbala is that the numbers are so baked into the central, pragmatic tasks in the game that kids might not even notice that they're actually doing math. Numbala's way of introducing how objects are grouped and how numerals represent those groups may be particularly effective for kids who are struggling to learn the basics of math in the standard pencil-and-paper way. Other kids will likely just enjoy this fast-paced, pretty game with a slightly exciting (mostly sweet) storyline.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Numbala uses visuals to represent numbers. Look around your house or out in nature for other things you can count and group, add and subtract.

  • Watch the intro with your kid. There's no audio with the story, so it may be helpful for some kids to talk through the story with an adult to fully understand the story behind the game on this app. What's happening in this game? What's your goal?

  • Read Common Sense Media's What apps can help my kid do better in math? for more digital math learning resources.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Math: addition, numbers, subtraction
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: making conclusions, part-whole relationships
  • Price: $4.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: July 30, 2018
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 669.40 MB
  • Publisher: Neurodio
  • Version: 1.3.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up
  • Last updated: October 20, 2020

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