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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while math is a major element of Sums Stacker, this app has the look and feel of a really cool, interesting puzzle game. Especially in the arcade-style race mode. Players have multiple numerical groupings (they could be dice, coins, fingers, written numbers, or some other representation of an amount) in three columns, and they'll need to shift those groups around until the three columns each add up to the amount shown at the bottom. It's a great game for stealth learning.
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- Kids say
What's it about?
In Sums Stacker, kids see three columns with designated sums. They have to move dice (or other objects) from one column to another one at a time so that they equal the sums. In solve mode, it simply keeps track of the number of moves for a series of five problems. In timed mode, a little ticker moves around the edge of the screen; it's less noticeable than a ticking clock, lessening the pressure.
Is it any good?
SUMS STACKER is one of those brilliant educational apps that feels more like a game than a lesson. The entirety of the gameplay is based around math -- kids will be adding, subtracting, and re-adding throughout -- but the game feels like an arcade style puzzle game. The different game modes offer variety as well -- adding coins feels entirely different than adding hands and fingers. The awesome color-pencil sketch art style -- reminiscent of those funky old Sesame Street animations of the '70s -- makes the whole app just that much cooler.