A simple and effective app designed for those hoping to improve their mental mathematical abilities, specifically with the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Upon opening the app, children are first asked to enter their player name and current location, both of which can be added later or ignored. In the main area, children first select whether to “play online” against other players or to “play now” and compete against themselves. The whole game is focused on the four operations, with the “play now” section allowing users to select which operations they want to practice, alongside the level they want to be challenged against, cleverly titled: practice; go easy; I can do it; and bring it on. Upon clicking play, children are presented with 20 questions with four possible answers. A correct answer turns the questions green while an incorrect answer becomes red. At the end of the 20 questions, statistics are displayed. These include the correct number of questions, the longest streak and the best multiplier. Children then have the option to play again or go back to the homepage. The next logical phase in development would be the ability to click on these as links to display which questions were incorrect, or alternatively, the option to retry these questions, allowing children to learn and improve through their mistakes.
In addition to competing against themselves, children can also play online against other competitors. When this option is selected, children are given a hundred randomly selected questions. Here, as well as the four operations, extra skills are included, such as brackets, square numbers and square roots. These added features help challenge children and introduce different mathematical concepts, however, they can also limit children who have not progressed to these skills yet. As the app grows its user base, the same level of difficulty would be nice to see in both online and offline versions. On this point, the developer clearly wants to continue to improve this product, and even has a forum for dedicated users suggesting future features for the app. An ideal situation to take the app in the direction users want.
Returning to the main menu, there are three other areas: my stats; leaderboards and settings. My stats offers a range of statistics and badges that children can view and work towards. The leaderboard displays the users and their scores on a daily and weekly basis. While the settings area allows users to update their profile and offers information and links to engage with the user base through several online platforms. Within this area there’s also the ability to link different devices, meaning users can play on multiple devices with the same user profile. It should be noted that this app does not aim to teach mathematical concepts, instead it focusses on rapid, repetition and practice. This allows children master the basic mathematical skills, without which they will be unable to access upper primary or the secondary curriculum.
Overall, as an app designed to practice fast paced mental mathematical arithmetic, it does exactly that: allowing children to practice any of the operations at any desired level of difficulty. Certainly worthy of its 5 star rating.