Mystery Math Town takes the user through various spooky houses on a quest to help a friendly ghost find all the lost fireflies. Fireflies can be found inside and outside of the house which can make for an added challenge. Once you have collected the fireflies in a house, the next house is unlocked. You can revisit houses to collect gold coins to earn portraits for the gallery.
Math and problem solving skills are a constant theme throughout the app. The user must complete a math problem to go through entryways (doors, staircases, ladders, etc.) to navigate the house in search of fireflies and coins. As you help the friendly ghost travel through the house, you must also decide which numbers to “keep for future use”. Users must use problem solving skills to come up with math problem (only __+__= [give #] is given). This slight twist on the typical rote "2+2=4" fact practice really makes the user demonstrate the number sense skills. The users also have to decide when to collect numbers, when to use numbers, and which numbers they may need to throw out. Visual memory also plays a huges part of using this app. The user must remember what rooms have already been visited as well as the ability to navigate around to collect needed items when they may not have been able to access an entryway.
Mystery Math Town includes several features that make this app useful in the classroom setting. The app allows for multiple user profiles so that they app can be tailored to specific students and skills. The app allows target math skills can be selected under each user profile. The math skills options: addition and subtraction options: 0-10, 11-20, 21-50, multiplication options x1 x2 x5 x10 and x1 through x10. Have a student that has mastered these skills or needs an added challenge? They have also included an option to allow the use of tally marks and dice to create an even more challenging experience.
Mystery Math Town is an engaging math facts and critical thinking app that I can see having a place in almost every classroom. It doesn’t just provide the opportunity to practice rote math facts. It makes the user think about numbers and math facts as they solve the equations. It also makes the use think critically about which numbers they need to use, which numbers to save, which numbers to leave behind, and the paths that they have taken throughout the house. If you have iPad users ages 6-12 (and beyond because I played with it quite a bit myself!), I would highly recommend this app as it works on foundational math skills and critical thinking skills. For the $2.99 price, this app will provide hours of entertaining math practice!!