Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2015
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Fruit Ninja Academy: Math Master

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Mini-games offer excellent mix of play, learning, fruit-slicing fun

Subjects & skills
  • Math

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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Pros: The fun (and probably familiar) ninja theme provides an excellent balance of learning and play.

Cons: One mini-game has issues with touchscreen accuracy, and there aren't any hints or constructive feedback.

Bottom Line: A highly engaging game that offers some serious learning opportunities.

Fruit Ninja: Math Master can help kids practice skills after being introduced to them in classroom lessons. The game accommodates multiple players, so sharing devices is easy. Have kids complete one or two levels within a specific skill area and then discuss their results as a class. More advanced learners can complete an entire skill set within one or two classroom sessions. To assess progress, check the chalkboard on the app's home screen.

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Fruit Ninja: Math Master begins with a comic book-style story about Truffles the pig, who needs to be rescued. Kids play math mini-games to help Katsuro and his friends rescue Truffles. After kids view the story, a map appears on the home screen, and kids can tap any of the six learning categories to launch related mini-games in Addition, Subtraction, Multiples, Shapes, Sequences, and Numbers. Within each category, kids must complete 13 levels that get progressively more difficult. Once all levels are complete, a broken tablet gets reassembled and kids progress through the story of rescuing Truffles. Within each mini-game, a character appears with instructions for playing the game. The home screen also includes a tappable chalkboard where kids can take quizzes and parents can track progress. There is also an interactive board where kids can display their reward stickers.

Note that the iOS version of this app has a slightly different name than the Android version -- it's Fruit Ninja Academy: Math Master.

If your students love Fruit Ninja, they'll likely love this app, too, and they'll practice solid math skills along the way. The Truffles story line helps keep kids motivated, but it's the fun mini-games that should really keep kids coming back. There's plenty of gameplay variety: For example, some games require kids to bowl watermelons, while others require them to throw the correct number of bananas at a giant. And of course, many require lots of fruit slicing. By completing those mini-games, kids can learn about addition, subtraction, geometry, multiplication, and number sense. Kids can complete quizzes to assess their learning, which is helpful, but it would be even better if kids could access hints and detailed feedback for incorrect answers during gameplay or during the quizzes. Including just a little more explicit support for kids and teachers would make this an even more valuable learning experience.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Plenty of gameplay variety, an interesting story line, awesome rewards, and fun fruit-slicing action will keep kids fully immersed in the experience.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Challenges increase in difficulty and cover a wide range of skills. Kids can take quizzes to assess learning.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Instructions are clear and are appear throughout as text and narration. Better feedback and access to hints could help struggling kids.

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