How I Use It
Initially the boats creep slowly across the screen. They increase rapidly until it is challenging to keep up. After the first round I remembered my middle school algebra. I wish there had been a practice opportunity like this when I was a student learning coefficients and factors. The game includes intrinsic motivators like life preservers that you collect and points that you earn. The entire game is a race against time.
The game differentiates for the users skill levels. There are four different levels of play and three levels of assistance. The levels of play include varying difficulty for the type of factoring trinomials. The levels of assistance relate to what is displayed when you are dragging the grid to save the people on the boats. Each customization acts as a point multiplier or divisor for your score.
Wrecks Factor from MangaHigh.com
For Wrecks Factor students practice math concepts like factoring, coefficients, and trinomials. The premise of the game is to save the people whose ships sink in the Bermuda Triangle by proving search coordinates. The website gives the math expression and the user drags the grid to show the factors. The graphics and sound effects were comic and conveyed the 'mission' perfectly.
The game is an option on MangaHigh.com, which offers a two month trial for teachers. Students are able to play the advanced level for free as long as the teacher has created a class.
A great feature of the Wrecks Factor game is the help options. When you first open the game it offers both game specific and math topic help. The math help is in the form of a step-by-step tutorial broken down with a visual example and an explanation.
A disadvantage is the lack of specific feedback. When you make mistakes, you know it was wrong, but you do not know what was wrong or how to fix it for next time. The game also cycles through the same prompts. At some point I had just memorized the solution instead of understanding the math behind the problem.