Common Sense Review
Updated October 2013

Mystery Math Museum

Fun, well-designed app engages kids as they practice skills
Common Sense Rating 4
  • Fireflies are trapped in the town's museums. Kids have to solve math problems to explore the museums and find the fireflies.
  • Kids will find numbers, and use them to complete equations. Many equations have more than one possible answer.
  • As a reward, kids can earn paintings for their own gallery. The characters in the paintings all have something to say!
  • Kids can choose which operations and ranges of numbers are used in the game, to create an appropriate level of challenge.
  • The game supports multiple user accounts, with customizable avatars.
Content is customizable (operations and number ranges), and there are often multiple correct answers.
There is no feedback or help for incorrect answers, and questions can be answered incorrectly infinitely.
Bottom Line
Mystery Math Museum poses challenging math exercises in fun, engaging way, but lacks feedback for incorrect answers that would help kids who need additional support.
Brett Morrow
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 5

Kids will find the mystery concept fun. All the museums are different, which will keep kids interested and wanting to play more. Several tasks are built into the game, so it would take some time to complete the entire game.

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

Kids see the solution and must create the problem themselves, adding a level of challenge. Kids can skip questions, but there's no feedback for incorrect answers, making the app less than ideal for kids struggling with math.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

In-game help is clear and detailed, and options let you tailor gameplay to a kid's skill level. Kids can use "lifelines" to skip a problem, but if they have trouble with the math they'll need outside support to improve.

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

You can use Mystery Math Museum as a fun game for your students to practice arithmetic. The app offers unlimited user profiles, which makes it ideal for use even on a shared device. The game is most useful when customized to cover specific operations and ranges of numbers, so you'll want to show students how to set options on their own profiles (or set options for students yourself). A down side is that the app doesn't save data that would let students and teachers track progress.

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What's It Like?

Mystery Math Museum provides students with practice with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with numbers up to 50. Kids explore the rooms of museums to collect numbers; they then use these numbers to complete math equations to move from room to room. For example, you might collect the numbers 3, 4, 6, and 7, and have to complete the equation ___ + ___ = 10. When you correctly complete an equation, you can move to the next room in the museum. One of the best parts is that the game is customizable –- you can select the operations and ranges of numbers that will be used in equations in the game. 

Each museum has a different theme, and within each museum, each room has a different theme. The complexity of the math covered increases with each level, and the different themes keep the game interesting and different. Every room is full of surprises -- for example, there are many items in each room that make funny sound effects when tapped. There are eight different museums with different themes, so it’s not a game that kids will finish too quickly.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Kids can learn addition, subtraction, and multiplication as well as algebraic thinking as they solve reverse math problems. Kids see the answer and the operation along with a variety of numbers, and they choose which numbers get their answer. Often, the equations have more than one correct answer, which helps to reinforce the concepts of fluency and equivalency. It is good for students who mostly understand the math concepts already, but it will be less helpful for students who struggle. When students answer a question incorrectly, there is no feedback other than letting them know the answer was incorrect. Students have three “lifelines” to skip difficult problems, but after those run out there is no further support.


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