By Zephyr Games and Interaction Education
“On a distant plant, there lives a colony of rapidly evolving creatures, using math, they learned to harness the power of the universe and to control the world around them. However these math secrets are being lost due to a hostile alien force. You have been brought on to learn, evolve and save our planet from destruction.” This is how the story begins when your first – sixth grader steps into a whole new evolution called Math Evolve by Zephyr Games. With so many states moving towards implementing the Common Core standards, teachers and parents need to be aware of alternative ways of reinforcing these standards so as to make them more knowledgeable and skillful learners. With a video game like feel, Math Evolve is designed for your any Apple device running iOS 3.0 or later. Travel to unknown places as you cross environments such as the ocean, space and under the eyes of a microscope. Through this journey your mathematician will be gaming for a reason as they improve their math fluency, number sense and mental math skills.
Come aboard this lively adventure as Math Evolve allows for multiple users to make an attempt at saving our planet. Math Evolve is equipped with two modes of play: story and practice mode. Each provides the user a challenging experience as they evade and destroy the enemies. The story can begin to be told based on a particular users mathematical needs. Math is broken in three levels of difficulty: easy, medium and hard. In addition, games can be further challenged as you decide whether to play as a beginner, advanced and expert. Initially there are only 3 levels unlocked, with success additional levels are opened. With a total of 12 levels and three environments, creatures (players) will not be zoning out with this educational video game. The traditional way of learning your facts, flash cards or worksheets has come into the 21st century skills. Immediately teachers, parents and students will see that in order to save Earth, students are answering problems in a variety of ways. Solve problems as basic math facts (7+3=__) or fill in the missing blank (__+ 3 = __ and 7 + ___ = ___) and make your own equation (___ + ___ = ___). A very interesting feature of getting players to understand the properties of math: associative or communicative. As the story is being told, you will notice your character transforming as he saves the planet and defeats the 18 enemies. Use your fine motor skills as you drag this small alien creature backwards, forwards and sideways to pop the correct answer or build your own equation. Correct answers are visualized with a green checkmark and incorrect answers will be indicated with a red x. In story mode, play moves pretty quickly that users might not realize until the end of the game that they have lost points or energy for wrong answers.
As you play the practice mode, users will notice that the threat of enemies is no longer present. Within this mode of play, players now have the choice to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and combinations of +/- and x/÷. In addition, players now have the option to change the game play up a bit. Set your solutions with a minimun and maximum number, turn negative numbers on/off and alter the number of questions that need to be answered. A note to the developers – might it be possible to change the scrolling feature to be more exact based on what the user wants, possibly with arrows up and down rather than a bar feature. As an adult, I found setting these numbers was rather difficult. When practicing multiplication and/or division, players will be able to truly hone in on areas of need or reinforce as they can set the factors seen during game time. Landscapes will be familiar minus the distractions. In this mode of play, your little alien will be expected to catch one of four amebas. If correct, players will be rewarded with a green checkmark. If however, the answered if passed or incorrectly chosen a new component has been added, a tutor feature. The tutor feature has a calculator like appearance with the ability to see the challenging equation one more time without being in motion. A few additional notes to the developers – it would great to add in the early stages of the practice mode a slower pace as users just learning their math facts, the pace may seem a bit fast. In addition, Applicable2U would love to see equations written slightly differently or at least given an option to alter how they are written. We immediately noticed that 1 digit factors or addends were written as 2 digits. This may confuse children as this is not how it is presented in school or on homework assignments. This format may also challenge students that are dyslexic. With the quick pace of solving, they may see 02 as 20, thus changing the solution of the problem.
Overall, Applicable2U enjoyed their experience with this educational app. It has a great deal of academic potential for all parties involved: parents, teachers and students. With detailed reports which are generated based on the various modes of play, future instruction can then be individualized for each child or student. When your child is gaming via a DS or Wii, what are they getting out of the experience? Was the dollar value truly worth it? When they game via their mobile device as they play Math Evolve, they will not only be evolving as a savior of our planet, but they will be evolving their mathematic skills as well for only $1.99. Definitely worth the price! If you would like to learn more about Zephyr Games, please visit their website here. Start learning and evolving today by simply downloading Math Evolve to your iTunes library here.