Defend the castle as you practice math. Kids who would rather play video games than practice their math will be drawn to Maths Castle, an iPad app that includes multiple game modes and levels of difficulty to improve addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills.
The extent of the cartoon violence is mild. As correct answers are entered an arrow is shot at a knight, the knight falls to the ground; no blood.
- Three game modes
- Three levels of difficulty
- Educational and entertaining
Brief in-app instructions are available in the Help section; however, most users will find the instructions unnecessary as the interface is intuitive enough they can begin playing immediately.
In the Settings menu the volume can be adjusted and player data can be cleared. The app contains game appropriate sounds and music.
While the design elements and game play are of good quality overall, some features need more work; two examples are the app not remembering the high scores in the adventure mode and the timing of the knights entering the play area to the timing of the math problems (in multiple game modes).
The concept of the games, regardless of mode, is to answer addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems correctly. For each correct answer an arrow (from your castle) is launched at an advancing knight. In most cases, the arrow strikes the knight knocking him to the ground. Rewards are given in weapons or money. Weapons being items such as the ability to freeze the advancing knights, use lightning or fire, to fortify your castle, etc. Weapons can also be purchased with the money earned.
The user is required to tap on the reward to pick it up and have it added to their cache. This can cause a good amount of frustration and was a bit too distracting. Ideally, the reward would automatically be added to the cache.
Timing of the knights entering the play area should be more in sync with the speed of the math problems. If the user answers the questions as quickly as they appear, the arrow will not always strike the intended knight because they have not moved far enough into the screen; thus, no points are earned for answering correctly.
Three levels of difficulty are available in all modes. You can easily change between the levels of difficulty and the math topic desired. The three game modes are adventure, survival and times tables. There are a few differences between the game modes, such as times tables covers only multiplication; the other two modes include all four topics. In adventure mode, the user plays through levels. Survival mode, the player plays as long as possible.
The high score tracking included in the app is minimal. The tracking does not allow for name entry and does not provide details as far as which areas the user did well or where improvement is needed. Also, the high score tracking didn’t work for us in the adventure mode. The entire time we played the app, no scores were recorded in the adventure mode regardless of math topic or level of difficulty.
Maths Castle is a great way to get kids to practice their math. With the redundancy of the math questions it is not likely kids will want to play this app as long as they might the apps with higher entertainment ratings. Making some of the design changes we mentioned should help.
This app contains a great amount of content. The pool of questions cycled through each time is good, as is the rate of difficulty in each of the levels of difficulty. For an iPad only app in this price range, one would expect high-end graphics, better detailed score or progress tracking, even in-app multiple user accounts.
Maths Castle is a child-friendly for the most part, the only link to be concerned with is the email button on the main screen.
Maths Castle will appeal to kids who would rather play video games than practice their math. This iPad app combines math and mild combat requiring the user to solve math problems to defend the castle in a skirmish with knights. The app does contain mild cartoon violence.