Numbugs Powerup is not an app that will teach your children arithmetic skills. It is aimed at improving those skills with a range of fast-paced games covering Counting, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Equations and True/False. The app is very easy to use and each numerical game has 10 levels.
The mission, according to the developers, is to help Addy the anteater in his journey through the jungle and stop the different types of Numbugs from...crossing over him and continue their journey. We found Addy to be pretty static and all he can do to defend himself from these bugs is to solve with your help numerical problems floating above their heads. Typing the correct or incorrect number makes him blow bubbles that can be released towards the bugs by tapping on them. If the number is right the bug disappears and if it is wrong it doesn’t have any effect and will continue coming in Addy’s way. The damage is imminent if the Numbugs get to and past Addy and reflects on the green health bar on the top left corner of the screen.
On the home screen you have a number of initial options but although the child’s first instinct is to press ‘play ‘ parents need to be aware of the others options kids might tap into:
- Facebook icon on the lower left corner that will redirect you to the official profile of the app
- ‘About’ icon where you can donate through Google Play or access the official website – unprotected links
- ‘Extras’ option where you can pay for more coins or use the coins you have to buy different backgrounds/jungle themes – unprotected links
- ‘How to Play’ – instructions
- ‘Settings’ – the only settings available are either to have Music and Sounds On/Off
Once you press ‘Play’ you are taken to choose the type of game you want to play. We started with ‘Counting’ and as we said before each game has 10 different levels that are unlocked when the previous level is successfully finished. The initial levels are easy but the later ones can be challenging. We have to stress on one aspect: the speed of the Numbugs. We think they are moving too fast towards the anteater and even if players know the answers they might have difficulties in pressing the numbers in time. We would suggest that the app should have in the future an option in ‘Settings’ to set the speed. There is also no way to tell how far you progressed in the game and have to wait for the last bug to appear. You can ‘Pause’ the game and spend your earned coins on power-up bubbles and as you are in here be careful not to press ‘Levels’ because it will take you out of the game and you won’t be able to return to it from where you left.
We found the game really engaging and very addictive. The use of the playing screen is efficient and the graphics are pleasing. We finished all the 10 levels in the ‘Counting’ game and got this pop-up message: ‘Unfortunately, Numbugs Powerup has stopped’. We restarted the app, even turned on and off the tablet it was installed but didn’t fix the problem. It seems to us that you can’t return to replay a type of game once you finished all the levels. Might be something an update will fix easily though.
Numbugs Powerup is a free app and overall got us really excited. We believe that based on its originality and simplicity it will keep kids coming back for more. We gave the app an EAS Certification of 4 stars and we hope that the small issues we had with this version will be soon solved by the next update which will give this app the EAS Recommended status in the future.