Common Sense Review
Updated December 2012

Math Blaster HyperBlast

Arcade-style fun with just enough math learning on top
Common Sense Rating 3
  • Before starting their mission, kids can choose which mathematical operation to work on.
  • When players encounter the alien-robot, they answer as many math problems as possible before time runs out.
  • Players blast through hyperspace, shooting objects that get in their way to accumulate points.
  • Hitting obstacles slows down the progress.
Pros
Many levels and function choices accommodate a broad range of use for kids with varying skill levels.
Cons
Gameplay can stray from math-focused learning into pure arcade entertainment.
Bottom Line
A versatile tool to build and practice basic math skills, though it could better integrate learning and fun.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

The game is fun and challenging, with colorful space-age graphics kids will appreciate. With the feel and speed of a video game, it'll draw kids in and encourage them to stick around for the math.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Fast-paced gameplay encourages both speed and accuracy in math calculations, although the learning isn't very baked-in (kids play the game, then do some math problems, etc.). There are a variety of operations to integrate into the gameplay.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

The developer's website offers more games and extensive resources for teachers. In the app, kids will see immediately whether they've missed a problem and will see their scores after each level.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Its versatility makes Math Blaster Hyperblast a fun supplement to classroom work. The app tracks scores for up to six kids with one email address. Unfortunately, high scores reflect a combination of kids’ performance on math problems as well as points earned shooting objects in the game. Teachers will appreciate the developer's website, which includes online games and extensive resources such as worksheets and lesson plans.

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What's It Like?

Math Blaster Hyperblast is an arcade-style game where kids can develop speed in math recall as they answer problems in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, or standard form. The different skill choices and customizable number ranges make this app playable for a variety of ages and skills, from elementary through middle school.

In the game, kids blast through space, shooting objects that get in their way, and when a multi-legged robot appears, they answer a few math problems, practicing a variety of concepts while fighting off this alien-robot. Play offers challenges for a wide range of math abilities, even within each skill. Kids can choose the range of numbers (like sums to eight) within the skill and can test combined skills such as addition/subtraction or multiplication/division. Challenge levels can also be set to easy, medium, or hard. The game ends after a round with multiple incorrect answers.

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Is It Good For Learning?

The “hyperblasting” portion of the game is pure arcade-like fun, and kids can develop some speedy reflexes as they maneuver through space, tilting the device to dodge obstacles and pressing the button on the screen to shoot aliens. However, the educational thrust of the app appears in the math quizzes for each mission. When they encounter the many-legged robot, students have to choose the correct answer to the given problem on one of the legs. The legs are moving a bit, though, which can make identifying the right answer difficult. And the touch screen doesn’t always register the tap on the chosen answer. When kids choose a wrong answer, they see the correct answer before the next problem appears, but they get no instruction or explanation of the underlying concepts.

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