A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game features nothing objectionable, but instead teaches math facts. The fast pace may make it a poor fit for kids who need time to calculate math answers. Also, the game doesn't have any female characters.
What's it about?
MATH BLASTER: MASTER THE BASICS, for kids ages 6 to 12, is set in a future world taken over by robots because humans have forgotten how to do math. Players join the Math Blaster Corps in the persona of a hip-looking boy. Only by answering math questions on Earth, Saturn, and Pluto can the player save humanity. Players seek the numbers they need to answer math equations while avoiding bad robots, blasting apart obstacles, and jumping onto moving platforms.
Kids choose from eight levels of content, with the easiest covering addition and subtraction up to eight and the hardest drilling quotients and products involving multiples of 10. The games test speed and accuracy, ability to complete equations, and mental math and problem-solving. The pace is fast, but if players are having trouble the software slows down the robots' interference so that kids have more time to think.
Is it any good?
For the past 20 years, the Math Blaster series of software has taught kids math facts by engaging them in fast-paced arcade games. This newest one in the series doesn't deviate much from this popular format. It still delivers math practice in a fast-paced setting, but its look and feel have been upgraded to reflect the current video game culture.
Math Blaster: Master the Basics puts drilling math facts into a gaming format that will intrigue this generation of video game-playing kids. Families playing the game should pay attention to which math level they select, so that the game will drill the math facts that the child needs to practice.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about educational video games. Is this a good way to learn? Is there any problem with learning this way? Parents should make sure their kids know that while there is a lack of female characters shown in the Blaster Corps, girls are just as good at doing math as boys.
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
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.