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Times Table Galaxy offers timed practice on math fact families from x 2 to x 12 as well as a mixed practice option. Facts are presented in order, with multiple choice options for the answers. Extra time can be earned by answering random questions related to math facts, such as which number is a multiple of the target or which math fact has the larger answer.
- Optional timed practice on fact families from x2 to x12
- Connection through Game Center to challenge and compete with friends
- Facts presented in order to reinforce skip counting for inexperienced students
- Challenge level available for students once they’ve mastered each level
- Application questions provide additional time to play and practice
Times Table Galaxy is a high quality app that performs very well. It is intuitive to use. The app’s sound effects, background music, and visual displays for each problem are intriguing and different, yet non-distracting. The level selection mechanism (a carousel display of fact families) is easy to use and effective.
Times Table Galaxy provides effective practice with multiplication facts from 2 x 2 through 12 x 12, as well as a wide array of application problems. The facts at each level are presented in order with a selection of multiple choice responses that include the correct answer. Unless users turn it off in the settings section, each section is timed. The available time can be extended by clicking on the floating “atoms” that move across the screen, which open various types of application questions, such as which fact has the smaller answer or solving related division facts. Together, the activities provide an excellent mental workout, as well as honing observation and scanning skills.
There is also a “challenge” level that runs through all levels in order. The game invites users to challenge friends on Game Center to beat times and scores at any level. The sense of competition and urgency conveyed by the background music combine to encourage students to build speed and accuracy at the multiplication facts.
The downside to this app is the emphasis placed on answering problems in order, and on the ability to use visual scanning. By keeping problems in order, some students may well be able to memorize the sequence of answers, then become flummoxed when presented with items in a different arrangement. Each problem also presents from 4 to 8 answer choices which must be scanned to locate and tap the correct answer. While many students will do just fine with this presentation, there are children who will have a great deal of difficulty with this sort of presentation. Finding and quickly tapping the floating “atoms” to answer questions to gain extra time may also be too challenging for some students, as it requires split attention between the problems on the screen and movements in the background.
Times Table Galaxy is very entertaining and quite addictive. Most students will be motivated by the game’s combination of self-improvement and competition with friends on the Game Center. The backgrounds, sound effects, and music are all pleasant and entertaining. Allowing users to earn extra time by answering application questions is genius; it is quite possible for people who are proficient in their math facts to run through the entire game without “running out of lives.”
Times Table Galaxy is free to download with an optional in-app purchase. The free version of the app allows users to play until they lose a few lives, then it shuts the app down for a bit while it regenerates. Users can unlock an unlimited version via the in-app purchase of $2.99. This will eliminate the need to “regenerate” after several rounds. There is also a version designed specifically for schools (“Times Table Galaxy for Schools”) that costs $2.99 in the App Store and includes unlimited lives and no in-app purchase option.
Times Table Galaxy is mostly child-friendly, but parents and teachers should be cautious about use of the Game Center and should be aware that the in-app purchase is not particularly well-protected. There is a parent gate on the purchase and other links in the parent section, but each is clearly labeled “tap and hold” to access, which means that children in the target audience will easily understand how to access these things as well.
- Parent area (contains external links and in-app purchase)
- NO social media
- NO 3rd party ads
- YES external links (protected, but visible)
- YES access to the Game Center
Times Table Galaxy is a fun and effective system for practicing multiplication facts in timed and competitive settings. The app supports both development of skill at skip counting and improvement in speed and memorization of multiplication combinations 2 x 2 to 12 x 12.