Nanbazu: iPhone Video and Written App Review
There are plenty of math apps out there where you have to answer problems, but the new Nanbazu app from Gripati Digital Entertainment is the first to take those math exercises one step further with hand movement recognition. The result? One awesome app that’s going to challenge math learners and lovers of all ages. Let’s see how it held up to our critique.
Concept & Gameplay:
Nanbazu is a mixture of math practice apps and hand-eye coordination skill building. It’s definitely not your boring, run-of-the-mill math practice app. After completing an intro level where you learn the hand movement recognition pattern for each number, the app moves on to a series of unlockable game levels. There are memory levels where you must recall number patterns and draw the correct numbers in the air, speed test levels, where you must draw the numbers as they fall, getting it right before the number hits the ground, and a series of math problem apps, where you can test your brain power on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.
It’s really a pretty neat mix of activities, and playing is fun, once you get the hang of touching the screen and moving the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch in the correct pattern for a number, but I don’t think this app is going to be an adult’s favorite. I do think this app will be great for kids who need practice math skills but perhaps aren’t connecting with plain problem solving tasks. However, this functionality is crimped a bit, since there’s no way to customize the problems the app displays or keep track of your child’s progress with a reporting feature.
While the technology is awesome, Nanbazu could use a tap in either direction (towards more adult-oriented fun, or parent-friendly educational tools) to make it better.
Layout & Desgin:
The Nanbazu app is universal, meaning it works quite well on the iPad, but also plays perfectly on the iPhone or iPod touch, as long as it’s software requirements are met. After a simple intro page, the Nanbazu app organizes levels in a logical numbered fashion. It’s easy to choose individual levels, although I did find myself wishing each level had a description of what game was in it so it was easier to revisit problem solving or speed tests.
The hand movement recognition interface was really quite good. It read my movements pretty well. Occasionally it seemed like my motions weren’t read properly, but I found it was quite important to maintain a vertical orientation and that helped with most of my accuracy issues.
During an introductory period, the Nanbazu app is available for $.99. And I definitely think this app is worth that minimal investment. It’s a really cool new way to use your iDevices, and great practice for math learners. I think it’s worth it just to see how hand movement recognition works and get some practice with it now before it starts popping up in apps everywhere. Also, the app itself is well made, functions beautifully, and is actually fun. Do yourself a favor, and check it out now.
Nanbazu iPhone app requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone App Review’s rating: