I don’t often get asked to review apps for kids, but, seeing as I have a couple of my own I’m always on the lookout for entertaining and educational programs. Both my son and daughter are under five, and fit in perfectly to the target audience of Zorbit’s Math Adventure. So I gave it a spin – or rather – handed it to my kids to see what they thought of it. My reasoning was that if it was a great kid’s app, they would love it, and what I though of it didn’t matter very much.
Throughout the game your main focus as the user is to help out Zorbit and his friends and family. Going through a series of planets from 1 to 6, the challenges increase as you progress ranging from just pointing out noisy objects in Zorbit’s bedroom, or choosing only objects outside a bowl to placing coins in a gumball machine. Pre-school children are taught to count, as well as some very basic addition and subtraction. Now, you could easily just play through each level once to progress to the next, win your star and be done with it. But, the developers made the clever decision to implement “stickers”. If you want to collect them all, you have to repeat the level at least twice. Kids then have the incentive to keep coming back and going over levels. Once you’ve collected some stickers, you can use them to decorate scenes in the unlock-able sticker book.
What’s particularly great about the app though is that because of its game-like nature, it’s a lot of fun and has quickly become my daughter’s favorite app on our iPad mini. Graphics are colorful, the characters are friendly, and the story running through it helps bring a cohesion to the entire app. My kids get sucked in to the interactivity of the game, and don’t really notice that with all the repetition, they’re actually learning as they play.
Of course – as with any app – there could be improvements. Some times the story telling gets in the way. Even if you have played a particular level more than once, the pre-game narration plays anyway. With no way to skip. It can lead to frustration. It’d also benefit from more options on the game play front. A two player game mode would definitely add to the appeal for siblings. Not only that, but I can’t help but feel that 6 levels is a really odd number to choose. It doesn’t quite feel like enough, and could do with perhaps 3-4 more playable planets to really feel like you’re getting value for your money.
All in all, I can’t argue with an app if it makes my kids want to sit down and play it. Of all the apps in my “Kids” folder, it’s the most used and often the first one my daughter goes for. It’s fun, entertaining and educational. The perfect mix for pre-schoolers.