A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Math Blaster is an online Facebook video game with math education in mind. Players tackle a variety of math facts including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and more to beat the enemy and level up. Gameplay is fast-paced, fun, and set in outer space, with a variety of alien creatures and galactic locations that keep it engaging. Parents will want to keep an eye on their kid's use of the game, since it requires personal information and there's in-game chat available between players.
What's it about?
In MATH BLASTER, players combine their knowledge of math along with fast-paced gameplay to go on a series of mini-missions throughout various galactic stations. Kids can hone in and build on their math facts as they jump from location to location while solving math problems to earn points, level up, and hopefully save the galaxy. Players create an avatar or "cadet" and can navigate using the arrow buttons and keys on the keyboard through various missions, and they'll see their scores in real time. Want to play a level over? No problem -- you can start and restart each mission as many times as you want until you feel confident in your math skills.
Is it any good?
Throw together math, alien life, and a variety of locations throughout the galaxy and you have Math Blaster. By mixing a variety of fun yet challenging levels with math subjects including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions, players go to the levels of their choosing and are presented with a variety of levels that test their skills. With game titles such as "Angle Attack" and "Zapper" in the math academy, players have to look at and solve numerous math problems quickly to get to the next level and earn additional points they can spend on their avatars. Difficulty changes with each level, and this fast-paced game gives great feedback during play, so you can correct mistakes quickly.
Unfortunately, we did notice that Math Blaster does quite a bit of its own advertising between each menu selection. While levels are loading, a vast majority of the ads are dedicated to enticing players to become a Math Blaster member. Becoming a member is important if you want to get any further than the first level at each station or do anything extra with your avatar, which can be seen as restrictive to play or learning. Pricing is set at $4.99 a month and $39.99 annually, and a lifetime membership is $69.99. Gameplay and quality also seem to lag during many levels; there were times during each level where everything slowed down for some time and then sped back up. This significantly messed with overall gameplay and will definitely annoy players. Plus, these early math concepts (which are great for young kids in elementary school) are stuck behind Facebook's 13 and older age restrictions, so parents will have to be a part of their math experience from start to finish. Overall, Math Blaster is a fun way to work on your math skills, but the constant ad promotion and the lag in play hurts the learning experience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about their children's favorite math subjects. What are some fun math games they can play at home to help them memorize their math facts, and which ones do they use at school?
What are some activities in the game that kids can mimic in real life? What are some additional games that you can create together to tackle the more difficult math subjects? What are some additional activities you can do to make math fun?
- Platforms: Facebook
- Subjects: Math: addition, arithmetic, counting, division, equations, fractions, measurement, multiplication, numbers, sequences, subtraction
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, collecting data, decision-making, deduction, defining problems, logic, part-whole relationships, problem solving, solving puzzles, strategy, thinking critically
Creativity: combining knowledge, imagination, making new creations, producing new content
Self-Direction: academic development, achieving goals, effort, self-assessment, set objectives, time management, work to achieve goals, working efficiently
- Price: $4.99-$69.99
- Pricing structure: Free to Try, Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Knowledge Adventure
- Release date: February 22, 2015
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Adventures, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Numbers and Letters, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: E
- Award: Common Sense Media Award
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.