The Math Mathews app is a times table multiplication game designed for 8-12 year olds. I think you can always tell from the first few clicks how good an app will be and, Math Mathews certainly doesn’t disappoint on the first impression.
The landing page graphics are stylised, unique and immediately pleasing. The animations are engaging and vibrant which add depth to the app.
There are a number of initial options, but I decided to dive straight in and hit the ‘play’ button. You are taken to an image of an ancient looking map and told that your quest is to search for the Necklace of Sylla. There are three destinations on the map to choose from; The Sacred Cave, The Ancient Citadel and the Secret Temple.
Each destination has a different game. For instance, the Cave game is about navigating your crew down a river by successfully answering multiplication questions to steer your raft and avoid crashing into the obstacles in your path. Another game involves answering questions to load the cannon on a flying ship to shoot down boxes of TNT. All the games are accompanied by suspense music and, in general, it feels more like you are playing a computer game than a mobile app.
One of the most impressive features of the app is the Ship’s Log feature. This has a wonderful back story to the characters in the game. The main character is called Captain Mathews. Once upon a time, he had gone looking for the Necklace of Sylla with a pirate monkey who had taken his ship and crew hostage. The Necklace of Sylla turned people into the animal that they most despised and, in the case of Captain Mathews, it turned him into an octopus. The necklace had broken into three parts and your mission is to find the missing pieces and restore Captain Mathews back to humanity. The story is surprisingly in-depth, with great artwork and humorous narration. Any good educational app needs to be engaging to keep kids entertained and motivated to learn along with it and, the story behind the game is one of its stand-out features.
The game also has the capability of saving the progress of one or more users. This is useful as it enables friends or siblings to share the app and compete against each other. There is a ‘Treasure Room’ where you can see how far through app you are, giving that added bit of incentive to keep playing. The landing page also has a button to see some more information about the game and its developers, as well as a practice page, in which you can quickly run through some times table questions.
Overall I was extremely impressed with Math Mathews, and when you take into account the price, this is a must have app. The app has great depth, and takes a long while to complete. Upon completion, it has all the required features to keep kids coming back for more. In terms of its educational value, this is a great and novel way to help children learn their times table and I would thoroughly recommend it.