Math Galaxy Word Problems Fun is a maze-based app that encourages students to practice math story problems ranging from basic computation with small whole numbers through middle school/pre-algebra concepts such as ratio/proportion, signed numbers, geometry and graphs/tables. Players send remote-controlled robots into a maze to find treasures, and must solve word problems to proceed at certain points.
Three levels of difficulty
Each player can choose individualized topic
Can save game to play over several sessions
Math Galaxy Word Problems Fun is a high quality app that performs as advertised. There are lots of ways to individualize the app, making it highly useful in classrooms or other settings where multiple people will be using the game. Each player can choose a different topic, if desired, however, the game as a whole must be set to one level of difficulty. The ability to save a game is also a great feature, since game play can take quite a while. Players can also set their own criteria for winning or for ending the game. The graphics are somewhat low-res, which may put some players off a bit. The directions are quite complicated, and it will take a bit of effort to figure out how to play, particularly if players are not already familiar with these types of arcade games. Developers set up a system where players have money to purchase new robots when needed, and to pay other players when they land on the opposing players’ caves, but this also adds quite a layer of complexity to the game, which may make it too challenging for some players.
Math Galaxy Word Problems Fun is an outstanding way to encourage students to practice word problems, which frequently are challenging to students of all ages. This app’s built-in capability to focus different players on different skills is ideal for classroom and other settings where multiple students use the app. The topics cover most of the core math skills taught between grades one and eight up to and including many pre-algebra topics. The word problems are clearly written, and follow the usual pattern of situation and question. There is a built-in calculator (that includes an optional fraction mode) for students to use when they work to solve the problems.
This app has the potential to be quite engaging and entertaining for students to use, but it is quite complex to understand and to get started with. It does require a relatively high reading level to get through the directions (FK reading level of grade 9.6 on the instructions), and the story problems also may be difficult for younger or less able students to read comfortably. Game play is fairly complex, as well, with the introduction of money that changes hands between players and gets paid to the computer. The directions also mention choosing the size and speed of “sprites,” but all options except medium on both attributes were greyed out, so I couldn’t figure out what that was all about. Once I figured out how to play, it was fun, and students will probably enjoy the game play, since it is very arcade-like. It just may take a bit of help to get them to that point, especially for younger students.
This app is $3.99 in the App Store, which is a good value for the amount of content covered, but may be a bit high for the play value if students don’t end up enjoying it. It would be nice if developers offered a free sample level for people to try out before purchasing, since it could be an “acquired taste.” It would be an expensive app to buy, and then have children refuse to use it because of its complexity.
Math Galaxy Word Problems Fun offers a wide array of word problems in topics and levels suitable for grades 1-8, and if players enjoy arcade-style maze games, will be a motivational way to practice applying math skills. Game play is quite complex, however, and players may need adult assistance to learn the game well enough to enjoy it.