A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Lots of math skills covered and part of the adventure to a point, but more integration (i.e., find the volume of this potion, etc.) would give Prodigy a boost. Pushes to get premium can be distracting.
Free avatar creation is limited to two basic wizard models, each of which suggests a gender (but is not explicitly labeled "girl" or "boy"): The first has four long-haired options, while the second has the same body type as the first, but with four short-haired options. Hairstyles are largely Euro-centric. Five skin-tone options range from light peach to burnt umber. Much more customization occurs through outfits and accessories picked up later in the game, negating some of these early restrictions. But, overall, options for age or body shape diversity or visible disabilities (e.g., wheelchair) are absent. The rest of the world is populated by a wide variety of fantasy creatures like flying bat-eared minions, cutesy blobs, and talking shadows.
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Ease of Play
Gameplay is fairly intuitive, although sometimes next steps are not obvious. A friendly guide walks kids through the first series of screens.
Violence & Scariness
A lot of focus on battling monsters, and frequent use of cartoon fantasy weapons. But no blood, and scenes don't directly show violence.
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Products & Purchases
Pressure to become a paid user. Leveling up is partly determined by points that are more easily earned as a paid user. Selecting "at school" playing mode lessens the pressure, though kids can still see locked content and see prompts that ask kids to talk to their parents about linking accounts (which could mean paying if parents and kids want all of the perks).
Parents Need to Know
Is It Any Good?
This game-based learning app is a fun way for kids to practice essential math skills, but they may get distracted with the battles, pets, spells, and upgrade suggestions. One of the highlights of Prodigy: Kids Math Game is the adaptive platform that gives kids a personalized learning experience. Each question has some hints for how to solve the problem, which some kids may find useful, but others will find inadequate. The game is therefore best suited for practice rather than instruction, as there is also limited feedback for incorrect answers. Parents will enjoy tracking usage and progress with the user-friendly dashboard. Premium memberships offer parents even more precise tools, such as choosing the type of math questions their kids get and the ability to set Focus mode, which limits kids to a play world that has fewer battles and more frequent math questions.
In terms of appearance, the graphics are nothing special but should appeal to kids within the target age range. Sometimes the screens are glitchy, don't load properly, or crash completely, which will certainly lead to frustration when kids have to navigate their way back to where they were. Some may find the ever present push to purchase a subscription overwhelming, or even a source of conflict. Parents will need to be clear with their kids about their intentions to purchase or not purchase an upgrade. And if kids are using it at school, the kids with premium accounts will get perks that other kids won't, which sets up an inequity in experiences. With lots of superfluous narrative pieces, and non-math-related places to play and explore, it's also easy for kids to get lost in the weeds. A lot of time can pass between skills questions, and the focus is often on earning coins, treasures, pets, and other rewards. Sometimes it can seem as though the math part of the game is an afterthought. It would be nice to see math even more integrated into the adventure. And though the setting around the math is exciting, the math questions themselves are standard dry math drill. Also, some parents may not appreciate the focus on battles and weapons. Overall, with the right expectations and a bit of help focusing when necessary, Prodigy: Kids Math Game can be a good blend of adventure and math practice.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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