Operation Math for iPad Takes the Routine Out of Learning Math Facts

Learning basic math facts is a standard part of an elementary school education, but many children (and even some parents) dread the repetition of flash cards and times tables. Operation Math for iPad by Spinlight Studio hopes to make learning math facts less onerous by turning the task into a game.

The game’s premise is simple: the evil Dr. Odd is trying to eliminate all even numbers from the world. (I suppose nobody on the doctor’s staff put two and two — or even three and three — together and realized this was impossible!) It’s the player’s duty to stop him by playing the role of a Base 10 Spy.

The game, which is designed for 5 to 12-year-old kids, includes 105 missions that are grouped by skill level. To complete a mission the player must answer a certain number of math questions in 60 seconds. As the levels advance the questions become more difficult. Players can choose from addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, as well as addition/subtraction and multiplication/division.

Each mission is accompanied by an objective, and the locations vary, and include spots all over the globe. Completing certain missions unlock rewards such as a new uniform or watch for the player’s agent to wear. The narration and soundtrack add to the feel of the game without going overboard.

Download Operation Math from the App store for $3.99.

What I liked: The app includes slots for three players, which should be enough to accommodate most families. The game also rewards the player for training. There are certain uniforms and watches that are only unlocked through scoring well on training exercises.

What I didn’t like: Older kids might become frustrated at having to complete the easier sections in order to unlock higher levels. The soundtrack might distract some children while they are working and it wasn’t possible to mute it easily from within the mission screen.

To buy or not to buy: Operation Math for iPad succeeds in getting kids to practice math facts while they are entertained by the game. The app balances computation and gameplay very well. Kids are likely to enjoy the app and improve their math skills while they play.

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