For Teachers

For Parents


Maths Practice App


Straylings Oldhaven

Android - Paid iPhone/iPad - Paid

Teacher Overview

Challenge learners' arithmetic and grammar skills as they rescue Straylings from a card-based imprisonment.  New cards to add to the player's collection form the motivation and rewards for success.

Teacher Review

As the developers of Straylings Oldhaven say, repetition is a useful part of learning but it is also an easy way to bore children.  Enlivening the process of answering questions is the motivation behind brightening up addition and grammar exercises with game-like elements.  The result is the app Straylings Oldhaven.

A colourfully animated short fantasy-based story leads players into the app and explains that their task is to rescue the Straylings, bird-like creatures, who are trapped in cards that have been scattered.  This is done by answering questions that reveal segments of the cards.

Players have a choice of two areas of knowledge to test: arithmetic (including addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication) and grammar (subject/verb agreement).   The difficulty can be set to one of twelve levels which adjusts how much time is allowed and how complex the actual questions are.  The short time limit on level twelve makes completion quite a challenge.

The game, at first, looks like it is going to be a memory matching puzzle but this is not the case.  Although there is a grid, one tile shows a question and the others show potential answers.  Once the correct answer is selected it becomes the next question.  Correct answers reveal a segment of the hidden Strayling card.

The graphics in the app are attractive although not always consistent in style or resolution.  The cards are the best-presented parts of the app with the Straylings each being distinct and well-drawn.

Incorrect answers are dealt with in what seems quite a harsh way.  The segment of the card is forfeit meaning that the game cannot be completed so the player must choose either to carry on with no chance of success or hit the reset option.  Some other penalty, such as lost time, would have made much more sense here.

There is a hint that Straylings is expected to expand in some way.  When you complete a game level, there is an option to save the Strayling Card that has been revealed.  At the moment this is just a picture of the card saved to the device which has some Top-Trump-style statistics on it.  The app tells the player that in the future they will be able to put these cards into an album.

Owners of the app will be intrigued to see what this becomes but it does feel quite a large feature to be missing from the outset as it robs the cards of context.  Essentially, the reward for completing a level, as it stands, is that a card with unexplained numbers can be saved to the device's picture folder. 

The app marketplace is full of question-and-answer arithmetic and grammar apps.  They are useful for providing practise and developing fluency, but they are all essentially a way of dressing up multiple-choice quizzes to make them more palatable for children.  This is fine, but the prevalence of this app type means that the presentation and gamification of any app in this genre must be done perfectly.

Straylings Openhaven, at the moment, does not achieve a standard of presentation or gameplay that is quite as high as most players would expect.    There are some nice ideas in the app but, as a whole, it feels somewhat unfinished and unpolished. There is a good foundation for further development so the developer's future work might lift it far beyond where it currently sits - certainly an app to keep an eye on.

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Teacher Certification

Teacher Rating for the app

Teacher Rating

App Advertising or In-App Purchases

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Screenshots

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Developer Description

Use the power of purposeful games to build your child’s numeracy and literacy skills.

Straylings is a charming game designed by leading educators using the latest principles of neuroscience.

And kids love it.

Repetition is what everybody needs as a basis for problem-solving, but it’s B-O-R-I-N-G. You know how well your kids can concentrate when immersed in a skillfully-crafted game - Strayling’s storyline and strong visuals keep kids focused.

In a classroom situation, children can easily miss a fundamental principle. This not only impedes progress at higher levels, it damages confidence. In Straylings, kids learn through continuous small improvements, and that becomes a learning strategy they take forwards with them.

They develop a mindset that failure is an inevitable part of the path to discovery. In a well-designed game like Straylings, failure loses its power to discourage. Confidence naturally builds as they level-up, and mastery becomes a rewarding experience.

The depth of material means kids can jump in at any skill level, advance at their own pace and grow to be the best they can. Expectations are level-appropriate, and reward scores are given accordingly.

Your child will bloom, and their progress will appear effortless.

Content:
Mathematics (Number Operations)
English Grammar Skills (Subject-Verb Agreements).

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