Bubbly Primes

Category: Maths

Ages: 7-11 11-14
Price: iPhone/iPad - £3.99

Nothing can seem more satisfying than the simple pleasure of popping a bubble! Prepare your bubble-popping finger for a mathematical game that helps you learn the prime numbers as well as the factors that make up composite numbers. It is very simple – if the bubble has a composite number on it, pop it! Challenge yourself to beat the high score and try not too let the underwater critters cause you too much annoyance.


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Teacher Review

Prime numbers are regarded as the building blocks from which all other composite numbers can be broken down into. Recognising and learning prime numbers becomes useful for the topic of fractions in mathematics. Learning prime numbers and recognising the factors of composite numbers is an important ability and ‘Bubbly Primes’ has turned this into a fun game.

Colourful bubbles appear from the bottom of the screen slowly floating upwards. Each bubble has a number on it and if the number is a composite number, not a prime number, then if you tap the bubble it splits in two to show two possible factors. The objective of the game is to keep tapping on bubbles that have composite numbers and only let the prime numbered bubbles reach the very top of the screen.

For each correctly tapped bubble the player scores points but if a composite number reaches the top untapped then you will lose points. Once five non-prime numbers have crossed the upper line then your game comes to an end. The purpose of the app is for the player to learn the individual prime numbers. Although you lose points for tapping on prime numbers it is the best tactic for staying in the game, essentially this is promoting students to learn from your mistakes. As the game progresses the rate at which the bubbles appear from the bottom increase. You are forced to work faster to keep up with the pace and quickly identify the composite numbers.

Pausing the game leaves the screen frozen with the numbered bubbles remaining in position. This gives you the chance to plan your strategy when the gameplay gets too hectic when there are too many bubbles to focus on. As much as this might feel like cheating it is very necessary at times.

Throughout the game play little creatures, or ‘critters’, appear causing a bit of added commotion to the rising bubbles. They will randomly flick the bubbles away which will either help you or frustrate you. Soothing musical tunes by pianos and flutes attempt to bring a sense of concentration to the game.

Starting up the app will present you with the menu screen. This gives you access to high scores, settings for sound and additional information including instructions of how to play the game. The high scores are recorded but other than selecting one of the three critters as your icon there is unfortunately no way of personally identifying your previous achievements.

The comparison of this app to classic puzzle games such as ‘Bubble Bobble’ and ‘Tetris’ is quite apparent. Those games relied heavily on the challenging nature within some very simple ideas much like ‘Bubbly Primes’. However, their playability was matched by a sense of growing achievement or reward through extra levels or multiplier. In this app players may well grow uninterested because the sense of achievement or reward is lacking.

At the centre of ‘Bubbly Primes’ there is truly a fun element to learning but for the learning to continue there needs to be a wider scope to the gameplay.

From the Developer

Get The Practice Without The Pain.
- Give kids a game that you love when they play!
- Practice Factoring to make Fractions easier!
- Popping the bubbles is addictive. Players can't stop getting better.
- Recommended as “A really fun game that teaches kids about prime numbers and factoring,” by the Parenting Beyond Discipline podcast.

Bubbly Primes is a prime numbers and factoring game. Parents, teachers, and kids put a lot of energy into mastering fractions. Fractions are an important subject, and in many cases, challenging. Help elementary and middle school students master factoring, a skill that's a building block for fractions and other important math subjects.

What makes Bubbly Primes different? Craftsmanship. It's a deceptively simple arcade-style educational game that features hand-drawn animated characters, classical music, a hypnotically soothing underwater world, and a critically important educational mission.

Originally intended as a simple, healthy, math game for kids, clever Bubbly Primes players have repurposed it as:
- A classroom activity.
- A family game.
- A brain training exercise for adults.

Bubbly Primes is a non-violent game, and has no in-app purchases.

How To Play

For a video, search for “How To Play Bubbly Primes”. It really only takes a few seconds to figure out the basic game.

- Tap “Start” to begin.
- Tap bubbles that contain composite numbers (numbers you can factor).
- As bubbles pop apart your score goes up.
- Keep popping them until they’re broken down to prime numbers.
- As prime numbers get to the top, they raise your score.
- Avoid tapping prime number bubbles. If you do, they’ll darken and fall to the bottom, lowering your score.
- As your score rises, playful critters appear.
- You can tap critters to change what they do.
- You can tap the water to make waves that move bubbles or critters.
- When a non-prime “composite” number gets to the top, it turns reddish and it’s too late to factor it.
- When five composites escape to the top, the round ends.
- If your score is one of the five highest, you can chose a critter for its symbol.

Nuhubit is a trademark of Nuhubit Software Studios LLC

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Learning Outcomes

Key Features

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No