# Mathbreakers

- addition
- fractions
- multiplication
- numbers

- logic
- problem solving
- solving puzzles

###### Pros

Math is the main tool students use to solve fun, interesting puzzles###### Cons

Graphics not great, and not much help for struggling players###### Bottom Line

Mathbreakers will draw kids in, making it a good way to review a wide variety of mathematical concepts, but it has a ways to go before teachers will embrace it as a primary learning tool.None as of now, but promised for final version

Puzzles are complex and get hard quickly, but interesting enough to keep kids engaged. It's still in development, so it could use some graphical and mechanical polish.

Kids need to think on their feet, and use a variety of math skills to solve puzzles. Future versions of the game will also include the ability to work with other players and design levels.

There are some hints and tutorials at the beginning, but the game doesn't offer a lot of support. Some kids will get frustrated by difficult puzzles.

In its current form, *Mathbreakers* will probably be most useful to teachers as a fun way to engage kids in reviewing and thinking about mathematical concepts. Future versions have a lot of potential, though. Multiplayer would allow students to work in groups to solve problems, and level design will give kids the chance to design levels for each other, building their math skills by actually creating the puzzles. By making math skills so central to the game mechanics, *Mathbreakers* also has good potential to draw in kids who enjoy video games but aren't big fans of math. The demo is free to download, but there is a cost for the final full version.

*Mathbreakers* is an in-development 3D game featuring a variety of puzzles solved with basic math skills. It's a thin -- but effective -- skin on basic mathematics practice. The first level opens with a simple, well-guided concept: collect numbered balls and throw them at their inverses to zero them out and eliminate obstacles and monsters. For example, if monsters have a "2" on them the player needs to hit them with "-2" to destroy them. Things get gradually more complex as numbers quickly increase, and players have to decide how to use the number balls to get through the levels. Eventually new tools get added including different types of guns that can be loaded with numbers, hammers that break large numbers into their prime factors, etc..

It's clearly, lacking any narrative hook and graphical polish. Future versions plan to add multiplayer and sandbox play, as well as the ability for both kids (and teachers) to design their own levels.

Read More Read LessThe best thing about *Mathbreakers* is that math is the central game mechanic, not something students in between having fun. It has a nice progression, starting with tossing simple numbered balls, but eventually players can switch balls from positive to negative, and quickly increase or decrease numbers through multiplication and division. All these concepts are put together well and make kids think about and use mathematical skills on the fly. The final version is targeted at all the common core standards for grades 1-6, but currently only touches on a slice of earlier concepts. There's very little support, though, and teachers are likely to be plagued by kids asking for help, especially as they first figure out the game.

## Key Standards Supported

## Number And Operations—Fractions | |

3.NF: Develop Understanding Of Fractions As Numbers. | |

3.NF.1 | Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b. |

4.NF: Build Fractions From Unit Fractions By Applying And Extending Previous Understandings Of Operations On Whole Numbers. | |

4.NF.4 | Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction by a whole number. |

4.NF.4.a | Understand a fraction a/b as a multiple of 1/b. For example, use a visual fraction model to represent 5/4 as the product 5 × (1/4), recording the conclusion by the equation 5/4 = 5 × (1/4). |

5.NF: Apply And Extend Previous Understandings Of Multiplication And Division To Multiply And Divide Fractions. | |

5.NF.4 | Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction. |

5.NF.5 | Interpret multiplication as scaling (resizing), by: |

5.NF.7 | Apply and extend previous understandings of division to divide unit fractions by whole numbers and whole numbers by unit fractions.1 |

## Operations And Algebraic Thinking | |

3.OA: Understand Properties Of Multiplication And The Relationship Between Multiplication And Division. | |

3.OA.6 | Understand division as an unknown-factor problem. For example, find 32 ÷ 8 by finding the number that makes 32 when multiplied by 8. |

4.OA: Gain Familiarity With Factors And Multiples. | |

4.OA.4 | Find all factor pairs for a whole number in the range 1–100. Recognize that a whole number is a multiple of each of its factors. Determine whether a given whole number in the range 1–100 is a multiple of a given one-digit number. Determine whether a given whole number in the range 1–100 is prime or composite. |

## The Number System | |

6.NS: Compute Fluently With Multi-Digit Numbers And Find Common Factors And Multiples. | |

6.NS.2 | Fluently divide multi-digit numbers using the standard algorithm. |

Apply And Extend Previous Understandings Of Numbers To The System Of Rational Numbers. | |

6.NS.5 | Understand that positive and negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having opposite directions or values (e.g., temperature above/below zero, elevation above/below sea level, credits/debits, positive/negative electric charge); use positive and negative numbers to represent quantities in real-world contexts, explaining the meaning of 0 in each situation. |

#### See how teachers are using Mathbreakers

#### Teacher Reviews

- Good concept, but needs some work.3December 27, 2013