Review by Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2013
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Timez Attack

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Good enough, gamey way to learn multiplication tables

Subjects & skills
  • Math

  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking
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Pros: Learning is built in and part of the total experience.

Cons: Drilling will leave some students craving more variety.

Bottom Line: A less traditional way of reinforcing memorization and quick response of multiplication tables, but not a shining example of what games can do.

It's a relatively self-contained experience that can be used to introduce and reinforce basic multiplication skills. For teachers who regularly rely on worksheet or flashcard-based multiplication study, Timez Attack would work well as a way to shake up the routine and make learning more engaging. Teachers, of course, will want to offer supplementary review as well as some lecture and discussion about what repeated addition is.

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Timez Attack is a third-person adventure game that takes place in a fantasy dungeon setting, the Dungeon of Ignoruntz. The player -- a green humanoid creature -- explores the dungeons and battles creatures ranging from ogres to dinosaurs to robots. Instead of traditional hack-and-slash gameplay, players progress using their knowledge of multiplication tables. Students encounter multiplication problems on their journey and learn how to solve them via repeated addition. They collect numbered objects in the environment and add them together to determine the product of the current problem. To progress levels, students "fight" a monster at the end of each level who drills them on the multiplication tables they just learned. Encounters are timed, and if students don't answer quickly enough, or correctly, they are punished with cartoon violence. Timez Attack is a good enough educational multiplication game that ramps fairly well and assesses each student's abilities in math, but, at its core, it's just a step above flashcard practice.

As long as teachers understand what it is -- multiplication tables practice -- it should satisfy. The visual, in-world repeated addition and speed challenges encourage quick and accurate recall, and are most likely going to grab students' attention more than traditional approaches. The challenges also help students understand what multiplication is and get good practice using repeated addition and memorizing multiplication tables. The problem is that there just isn't much variety or depth to the game. It's the same thing over and over, and for struggling students, things can get especially repetitive since the game focuses on previously incorrect answers. Depending on whether students respond well to the time limits, they may be motivated or demotivated.

Overall Rating

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

Kids explore a 3-D world, but the activities are repetitive, revealing that this is less of an adventure game and more a reworking of flashcards.

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

Kids gain ample practice with multiplication tables with solid reinforcement and a gradual ramping up of the challenge. However, the game relies completely on drill-style instruction.

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

Without responsive feedback or the ability to save their scores, kids may have a hard time figuring out how to fill in their gaps. There's some negative reinforcement when kids get wrong answers.

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Karen C. , Media specialist/librarian
Media specialist/librarian
High Plains Elementary
Englewood, United States
Addicting for many students!
Overall this is a highly engaging product that the majority of kids LOVED to do. In fact, on one occasion, I even got a voicemail from a parent who wanted to thank me for offering Timez Attack. She said that it was the only thing that ever worked for her daughter to learn her multiplication math facts. If you can afford it, and if the kids are provided time and opportunity to do it, it works.
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