3P Learning is offering this adventure and mystery app for the iPad for free download right now. (normally $1.99). Any parent knows that addition and subtraction practice of math facts and mental math practice can often be deadly dull for both parent and child. This app is an interesting offering in the educational math app market. There have been a lot of offerings trying to re-frame math practice in a more engaging platform than strict drills.
There are several levels of play for this app that build your child’s skill level to math his abilities. Explore each room in the mansion and discover the 15 characters that you collect as you master various skills. This app works on addition and subtraction within 100 using various techniques like counting on a hundred board, adding/subtracting without renaming, and regrouping. Be aware that this app uses British English, so the spelling and vocabulary of math terms may be unfamiliar. I like that the game offers tutorials as to how to play for each level which is helpful as it does not assume you just intuitively know how to play the game.
This is an interesting and good offering on the market. I actually like that it frames this sort of math practice that would appeal to an older elementary child that needs practice without appearing too cute or infantile. It best appeals to those students that enjoy adventure or story based game play. For sensitive kids, the graphic design is a bit Gothic in feel and has a bit of that spooky, mysterious Victorian mansion flavor and likely will not appeal to them. It is friendly to girls since it is more story based rather than an arcade style game platform.
Recommended for ages 7 to 11. For younger students, use your discretion since the artistic style and the story are not intended for them. There are other apps more suitable and appealing for them.