Math Guardians: iPad Written App Review
Forget about boring math practice apps where kids have to stare at plain Jane tables and repeat problem after problem in black and white. Math Guardians combines arithmetic practice with wild battles for an entirely different math practice experience. This title comes to us courtesy of Jiayi Chong, and I’m itching to see how this 2-D math fighter stands up to critique.
Concept & Gameplay:
The Math Guardians iPad app is first and foremost a math practice app. All the action is built around your ability to answer addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems. After that, all bets are off. There are plenty of practice options in Math Guardians, so if you feel like playing for a bit to get a feel for the jump-at-the-digits style, go for it. Once you’re ready, it’s time to embark on a campaign.
Campaigns take you around the world as you face unique opponents, answer math problems to gain strength, and do battle for victory. Here’s how it works: the numbers for math problems are suspended in the air. You touch a number to select it. Answer the math problems you create correctly to keep up your stamina. You’re gonna need it, because there’s a bad guy on the level with you, trying to attack you. It’s your job to deflect attacks and make your own. Again, the steam for these attacks comes from your correct answers, so be careful and balance your problem solving and attacking wisely for optimal results.
Math Guardians is definitely a new take on math practice. And it certainly isn’t boring. I found the action a bit frantic, personally. So don’t think this game’s going to be child’s play. It gets pretty challenging as you play. There’s also a collection of unique animal characters that you can unlock and play, each with their own personal strengths. So Math Guardian’s packs some variety to keep it interesting as you practice. The app could use some adjustments, like customizable problem level settings, pause option and a better reporting feature, but it’s still a pretty solid value as math apps go.
Layout & Design:
As I mentioned earlier, the design work and game play is decidedly two-dimensional. The 2-D work in itself isn’t the issue, but there’s just a feeling of something missing in the game’s design. It’s hard to put a finger on it. But the juxtaposition of the numbers and the animal combatants is just imbalanced somehow. Also, you’re tied to whatever part of the screen your combatant is, so it’s hard to move around effectively. I also saw an issue with players accidentally selecting numbers when they were just trying to jump to avoid the constant onslaught of attacks. The game could use some clarification.
If you have a stubborn kid who won’t practice math but needs to, Math Guardians is a really smart and entertaining solution. It costs $2.99, which is a middle of the road price. I’m not wild about it, but see how the app warrants a small investment.
Math Guardians iPhone app requires iOS 5.0 or later and is compatible with iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone App Review’s rating: