MathLand is an arcade-style math practice game designed for elementary students (grades K-5). Players navigate their pirate through obstacles and puzzles to find stolen gems, and need to complete addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and greater than/less than problems (including positive and negative numbers) to receive necessary items and earn tokens to progress in the game.
Over 25 levels
Engaging story line
Gradual increase in difficulty
Reinforces mental math skills
MathLand: Mental Arithmetic is a high quality app that offers math practice on an array of levels. The app includes colorful artwork, and will appeal to students who enjoy arcade style games. Less experienced players may need assistance to learn how to guide the main character by tapping a compass and how to jump over gaps and obstacles using a different button. The app could use a few features, including a tutorial, information for parents about the skills covered on which island, and an overview of the playing field to help in locating needed items.
This is a very enjoyable app, and most elementary aged students will be intrigued with the game play to the level that they will be likely to complete the required math problems to progress in the game. One concern, however, is that there is relatively little math provided for long periods of play. This is great for voluntary review situations, where parents or teachers wish to give children a bit of extra practice to strengthen skills. However, if a student needs remedial help, this app will not provide enough focused practice to improve skills. Problems are presented in sets of five within the game, and in one minute rounds in the practice area.
MathLand covers a wide array of skill levels, from addition and subtraction facts through nine (K-1 skills) to multiplication, division, and ordering positive and negative numbers (grade 5 skills). This means the app will grow with students quite nicely, though they may try to move forward faster than their skills will support. The app keeps track of the player’s progress, but would be more useful for family and classroom settings if users could sign in and allow it to track multiple students at once.
MathLand: Mental Arithmetic is quite entertaining. It’s easy to get caught up in the main character’s quest to retrieve the stolen gems and to locate and gather collectables, coins, and spyglasses. The path to find items on the islands becomes more complex and difficult as players move through the game, but the challenges are ideal for younger children, including rather cute “man-eating plants” and falling into the sea. The character can cross gaps and other obstacles by jumping, and later levels include a boat that can be sailed from section to section to transport from one area to the next. Players earn coins and spyglasses by completing the math challenges, and then can spend them to move forward in the game.
MathLand is free to try in the App Store and on Google Play. The free version includes 12 levels (or islands) focused primarily on addition and subtraction. There are also 4 practice levels where students can hone skills and earn spyglasses to progress from island to island. The full version (in-app purchase accessible by tapping one of the islands that says “only in full version”) costs $1.99 and unlocks all the levels (25 islands and 6 additional practice exercises), as well as removing the occasional advertisements that pop up.
MathLand: Mental Arithmetic is not as child friendly as it could be. The free version contains advertisements, and both versions have unprotected ratings requests, more apps, and settings area. These functions should be behind an effective parent gate, since the app is intended for use by young children.
MathLand: Mental Arithmetic is a fun, arcade-style math practice game that offers a heavy dose of play sprinkled with math problems. The app will appeal to most elementary-aged students, and will motivate many to practice critical addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and number sequencing skills.