Math Slicer App Review

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Math Slicer App Review

We recently reviewed a great puzzle game based on words: Spell Collapse. The other side of the coin is games with numbers. Numbers are as attractive to our brains as words. It might be surprising to some, but solving mathematical challenges is leading to great satisfactions.

Today, we will review one of those games. Math Slicer, by Thumbstorm.

 

What is Math Slicer?

Math Slicer is a game aiming at Elementary students and their parents. They are also targeting school teachers. The principle is quite simple: a basic calculation is shown on screen and the user must select the right answer. So, for instance it shows “4+9”, then two answers appear: “11” and “13”. Selecting 13 will score when selecting 11 will fail. The player has a limited time to select the right answer.

Math Slicer is a game, yes but with a clear educational intention. We’ll see about that.

Math Slicer App reviewGameplay

Those of you who have played “Fruit Ninja” will immediately recognize the game. The principle is directly taken from it. The answers are shown to the player like if they were thrown from the base of the screen. The player then has to “slice” the right answer to score. Fruit Ninja was (and is) a great game. Using its gameplay inside Math Slicer works just as well. Here again, you gain special points while progressing. These are Eggs. When you have enough eggs, you can “buy” new game artifacts. I should write “acquire” as this purchase does not imply any money transaction. There are no in-app purchases or Ads in Math Slicer! What you can purchase are new “Slicers”, new Backgrounds and Helpers.

The player can select between the 4 operations: + – * and /. It is also possible to select 3 different levels: K2nd – 3rd and Graduate. The impact of selecting a different level is on the speed of the results on screen. K2nd is much slower than Graduate. Otherwise, the operations are exactly the same.

Education

Thumbstorm has a clear intention to help the players acquire their basic mathematical tables. Does this work? Obviously I have not tried it with numerous people on the long term. What I did is ask my 7 years old daughter to give it a try. The result was quite surprising really. At first she struggled a bit to answer in time. But when she eventually understood how it worked she actually played Math Slicer for over an hour without stopping. In fact, we had to take the iPad from her hands to stop her. She did not even want to eat. And what I could see is that she gradually managed to acquire the 3 stars for each level. None was won immediately but she never wanted to stop until she did get the 3 stars.

Math Slicer App reviewThe Eggs reward system was also welcome and motivated her very much.

I can say that after using Math Slicer for a while, she started to know her addition table by heart rather than counting. It was becoming a reflex. This reflex was acquired without any pain, but with fun. She was also very proud of her achievements.

I’d say that the education value of Math Slicer is spot on. It concentrates on a small area of mathematics and makes the player want to learn. What else could we ask for?

On the top of that, the app is very children friendly with no app-purchase or Ads in it.

 

How Easy?

The learning curve for using the game (not the mathematical one) is extremely simple. There is no need for any manual. You get it immediately.

The game itself seems to be reasonably well measured in terms of speed. The three levels seem adequate.

 I’d say that the education value of Math Slicer is spot on. It concentrates on a small area of mathematics and makes the player want to learn. What else could we ask for? On the top of that, the app is very children friendly with no app-purchase or Ads in it.

How Nice?

This is probably where the game is the weakest. The game is not particularly attractive. Neither the sound nor the graphic design deserve any special mention. It does the job, but that’s all. I would even suggest playing the game with the device on silence. It will be less irritating.

The realization with Unity3D seems to be a bit rushed to me as well. Switching from Addition to Multiplication for instance is painful. The menu goes far too fast. Another strange option is to offer a “Store” in the app to use your Eggs credits. Why make this operation, which is very children friendly look like spending money? Why not call it something like “Rewards hall” or something like that?

I should mention a couple of bugs in the user interface. Nothing like a show stopper but definitely calling for a version 2.

It feels a bit like a let down on that aspect of the app.

How Fun?

I roughly covered that question above about the gameplay. It was quite simple: I had to take the iPad off the hands of my daughter. So, it must be fun!

Conclusion

Math Slicer is giving me a problem. In one hand the app is absolutely brilliant for the educational purpose. In the other hand, the gameplay is directly borrowed from another game and the technical realization is …improvable. But I am not here to decide if borrowing a gameplay from another game is right or not. What I would say though is that Thumbstorm has identified the perfect gameplay for the educational objective. This deserves a thumb up! I will even reward Math Slicer with our Top Education App Award. How often do you find an app that gives your child the will to learn his or her mathematical tables? That is what Math Slicer is doing. For the price of $0.99 at the time of this review, it is a very good deal!

Top Education App

Top Education App Award

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