Sums Stacker

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Fun, all-ages math puzzles disguise learning as games.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

With multiple difficulty levels, older and younger kids (and even adults) should find a challenge level good for them. Parents might have to play around a bit to find the best settings for their kid.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • arithmetic

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • solving puzzles
  • strategy

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

One of those brilliant educational apps that feels more like a game than a lesson. Different game modes offer variety. Awesome color-pencil sketch-art style makes the whole app just that much cooler.

Learning Approach

Stealth-learning app teaches logic and basic math facts through puzzles and an arcade-style race mode. Optional time pressure introduces the feeling of competition: good for some, not for others.

Support

In solve mode, the app simply keeps track of the number of moves for a series of 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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • arithmetic

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • solving puzzles
  • strategy

Kids can learn logic skills and practice basic math facts with Sums Stacker. The puzzle app requires kids to come up with number combinations that add up to a given sum. At the same time, they need to figure out how to move the objects around to get the numbers they want into the right columns. Records aren't saved, but the two modes allow kids to focus on either their strategic efficiency by solving the puzzle in as few moves as possible, or their speed, by solving as many problems as possible in a given time. Though better feedback would give Sums Stacker a boost, it's a good way to challenge logic skills and practice basic math problems.

This Learning Rating review was written by Cynthia Chiong

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Review the different combinations of numbers that can add up to the same sum.

  • Help kids think ahead and plan their next move.

  • Practice basic operation problems.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$0.99
Release date:December 9, 2009
Category:Educational Games
Publisher:Carstens Studios Inc.
Version:1.0.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.1.2 or later

This review of Sums Stacker was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Learn money math while playing a fun puzzle game.
  • Mix-and-match dinos roar and impart fun facts.
  • Simplified tangram puzzles cater to young players.

For kids who love puzzles and educational apps

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Educator Written byappdevclare December 26, 2010
 

Great Math Game

Love, love, love this math game, FUN and truly educational! This game is challenging and uses higher thinking skills. A must have for math. (Not keen giving games a definitive start age.... all kids are different.)
What other families should know
Educational value

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass