Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2012
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Math Blaster HyperBlast

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Arcade-style fun with just enough math learning on top

Common Sense says
Teachers say (3 Reviews)
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Grades
2-8 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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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.

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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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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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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Overall 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.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
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Featured review by
Beth L. , Special education instructor
Special education instructor
Van Wyck Junior High School
Wappingers Falls, NY
4
A fast paced math game to strengthen basic skills.

Students really like this game because it is a fast paced arcade style game. Since the game moves fast, students really need to think quick in order to progress in the game. The repetition of problems help students to memorize their math facts. One way it could be improved is to provide tutorials if students are struggling in a certain area.

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