NumberShire Game Poster Image


Rich village simulation teaches core-standards math.
Parents recommend

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn fundamental math skills such as counting, addition, subtraction, grouping stacks of tens and ones, and the concepts of equal/not equal and fewer/more. The game does a thorough job of explaining these concepts but doesn't offer feedback for incorrect answers, so teachers and parents might have to supplement the exercises. NumberShire teaches simple math skills in an environment that's as much a game as it is a learning tool.

Positive messages

Players learn positive values such as teamwork, friendship, and being helpful. Players earn rewards by helping out around the town.

Positive role models

The people of Tally-Ho all are positive and friendly. The Elder acts as a teacher and mentor for the player, providing instructions about what to do next.

Ease of play

Kids receive detailed verbal instructions for each activity. They'll need to be comfortable using a mouse, including the ability to hold down a mouse button while moving the cursor at the same time.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that NumberShire is a Web-based game that teaches and reinforces early math skills such as number recognition, counting, adding, and subtracting. The activities are aligned with the Common Core standards curricula for kids age 4–7. In addition to math, NumberShire teaches kids the value of being helpful. The game is designed for use in the classroom rather than at home, with a teacher dashboard and discounts offered for the purchase of bulk licenses.

What's it about?

NUMBERSHIRE is set in Tally-Ho, a rustic village inhabited by friendly animals. Players create their own anthropomorphized character, then help the villagers with various tasks that all involve numbers in some way. This includes counting groups of nails at the blacksmith's shop, helping a musician sort the coins in his case, and writing numbers by tracing them with the mouse. Kids receive a score for each activity, and upon completing the day's lessons they earn rewards such as new clothing and pets.

Is it any good?


NumberShire is a warm and inviting setting for kids to practice basic math. Each set of activities is grouped around a theme relating to an ongoing storyline -- such as building, baking, or preparing for the big parade -- which helps kids feel a real sense of accomplishment and progress. That said, there's no way to customize the experience based on the player's age or aptitude, leading to some uneven levels of challenges within the lesson groups. But, in spite of its quirks, NumberShire is a compelling way to teach and reinforce an otherwise dry subject for a young audience.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why math is important. What kinds of tasks does it help you do?

  • Explore opportunities for using math skills such as counting, adding, and subtracting in the real world from the lessons found in NumberShire.

Game details

Platforms:Linux, Mac, Windows
Subjects:Math: addition, counting, subtraction
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: applying information
Responsibility & Ethics: honoring the community
Pricing structure:Free to Try, Paid ($14.99 per student, $99 for 30 students.)
Available online?Available online
Developer:Thought Cycle
Release date:July 1, 2014
Topics:Numbers and letters
ESRB rating:NR

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Educator Written byPaco December 6, 2014

I got a cat!!!

My students are enjoying NumberShire! They all use headphones and are very focused and attentive when they are using it, however screams of “I got a cat!!!” or "I got a puppy!!!" occasionally break the silence in the computer lab.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Educator Written byRick Ranger November 26, 2014

Learning Approach

Unfortunately this review does not mention that this product was created in partnership with the University of Oregon's Center of Teaching and Learning. The core mathematics curriculum was developed by leading educational researches. Also NumberShire was rigorously tested in an 8-week randomized controlled trial using methods endorsed by the U.S. Department of Educationan's What Works Clearning House. NumberShire indeed does provide students with timely and engaging feedback about their game performance. It uses an adaptive approach and adjusts gameplay based on their performance. The other part of this product, the teacher dashboard, does not appear to have gotten much mention It gives teachers/parents performance reports for all students/children within their group. It is designed to specifically inform them of the math area which each student is struggling. I must cordially disagree with the Learning Approach evaluation made by Erin Bell. As much as NumberShire looks like a well polished video game it is just as much, if not more, an excellently designed math product.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Parent of a 5 and 5 year old Written bySpoogie December 29, 2014

What a difference this has made!

I saw this on the Holiday gift guide and picked it up for my twin girls. For this review I will refer to them as Thing1 and Thing2. Thing1 has had math come very easy for her, unfortunately so much so that Thing2 has become frustrated doing anything math related. They have both been playing NumberShire over winter break and enjoy it. But what motivated me to write this was the difference I've seen in Thing2. She has become so engaged with the characters and story that I don't think she realizes all the math she's actually doing in the game. She no longer simply gives up when I ask her to add or subtract numbers for me and is much more enthusiastic about doing so. I look forward to seeing how this translates for her once she is back in school.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use