Astro Nora by Julie Ward

I have to be honest; I know my addition. The game play although initially appears to be repetitive somehow is addicting. I am a middle age man. What am I doing playing a game intended for children from age 4 to 7?

That is exactly what happened when I picked up Astro Nora by Julie Ward. I don’t know if it is the music (which I love), the special effects (just as well done), the beautiful and quirky illustrations or that I can win tokens that I then can use to make the monster burp. All I know is that I really enjoyed this game.

The game is intended for 4 to 7 year olds. You play the part of Nora. An astronaut that apparently has lost all the pieces to her space ship. Collect the pieces from monsters by answering subtraction and addition questions. Along the way you can also jump on platforms and collect coins (not sure what they are for). You also collect burp tokens that you can use on another screen to make the monster burp.

Overall I loved it. My only issue was that on my old iPad 2 at times it would stall between scene transitions.

Available on Apple App Store, I was not able to find an Android version. Works offline. No ads. No in-app store that I could find. I reviewed it on my iPad using a free code provided by the publisher.

Mathos by Shanush Prema Thasarathan

Mathos by Shanush Perma Thasarathan is a math drill and a casual math game app. The beautifully designed interface is extremely clean and colorful. The game play is straight forward and addictive. Each level consist of answering equations correctly. The placement of the number keypad changes randomly for each equation, and to unlock the next level you need to correctly answer a certain numbers of equations before the time runs out.

Overall a good app. It does have an in-app store, but non of the items are consumable (the most you can spend on the app is now around $4.00). One of the in-app purchases is to remove the ads, but interesting enough I didn’t see any ads while I was playing. No interstitial and no banner ads.

I struggled with what rating to give this app. It would be simple if this was a general app review blog, but it is a children educational app blog. With some child protection for the in-app store and with age proper ads, it is a solid 4 according to our internal rating system. If those ads that we didn’t see are gambling, dating and/or any other non-child friendly category we would have not reviewed the app. In the end, I chose to review it for what I actually saw, but parents should be aware that the content of the store can change and that I didn’t see any ads. We recieved confirmation from the publisher that only children appropiate ads are shown.

I tested it on my iPhone at the request of the publisher. It is available in the Apple App store for free. I couldn’t find any versions for Android. It works fine without internet.

Moon Tunes by Wee Taps

Moon Tunes by Wee Taps is a music player for smaller children. The app consists of at least two scenes (or music players). Each music player has a tray of music items that can be dragged onto the scene to play that particular song. It comes with a few songs and as a parent you can associate any of the music items with songs in your library. There are also special effects that the child can touch as the music is playing.

The app is beautiful. Beautiful bright colors, nicely done illustrations and great sounds effects. It should help younger children learn one to one relationship (a building block for more advance math skills).

As far as dislike I only have one, I wish it didn’t display the extra purchasable scene in the main screen selection area. Technically it is a gift for people who have purchased their other game , but small kids might not understand why they can’t use the rocket player and parents might not want to buy an extra game just for that scene.

Overall another great app from the people at Wee Taps (my daughter still plays Wee Subs). Available in the Apple App store for $1.99. I reviewed it on my iPad and was provided a few copy by the publisher. No android version. Works perfectly fine without internet connection.

Math Slicer Free by Tumbstorm

Math Slicer Free by Tumbstorm is a fruit ninja clone with a math educational twist. In this version you use your fingers to cut the numbers that match the answers to equations displayed in the background. By playing the game you win eggs that you can use to unlock other levels, slices and even power ups. You can also buy more eggs if you don’t have enough for the items you want. The music, sound effects and graphics are ok. The animation when you slice a piece of fruit is very good.

Overall the concept is great. Taking a familiar and popular game and making it into an education game is a great idea. I really tried to love the game but I struggled with what star rating to give it. First on the Kindle Fire that I tested it on, the slicing of the numbers is awkward. After a few minutes of playing, I got the hang of it (smaller children might get frustrated). I didn’t have the same issue with the Google Play version. Also for some reason the Amazon Kindle version is not recognized by Amazon Free Time as a valid educational app.

Although the issue above is annoying, my biggest issue is with the egg in-app store. Small children might end up buying eggs for real money. There is no mechanism to stop small children from buying eggs. The paid version removes the ad banner but retains the in-app store.

Available in the Amazon App (Kindle Fire), the Apple App and Google Play store. I tested the Free version (the paid version does not have ads but still has an in-app store) on my Kindle Fire HD+ and a recent Android phone.

Quick Math+ by Shiny Things

I know Quick Math+ by Shiny Things is supposed to be a math drill app, and as such it is great. Select the particular drill, watch the short introduction and then run through the math drill. All the drills are timed, the app keeps a record of your past runs, the app supports multiple students, and the drills are fun to play.

And the fun to play is key. As mostly a casual game player and a math enthusiast, I was instantly addicted to the math drills. I kept repeating to myself one more game over and over. I always wonder why not many casual math games exist, and this one could easily fit that category.

Alas, this blog is about education games. As such Quick Math+ is a great app. Clean graphics, beautiful to understand instructions, challenging and addictive game play, I didn’t find anything that I disliked.

This app was provided for free by the publisher, and I reviewed it on my iPad. It is available on the Apple App Store. I couldn’t find an Android version. The apps works offline. It does have an in-app store that promotes the publisher’s other apps.

Math Vs Zombies by TapToLearn Software

Who doesn’t like Zombies? In Math vs Zombies by TapToLearn Software you use your math skills to convert the citizens of the town back into humans.

The game is played in first person. The zombies come after you from the horizon. As the zombies walk towards the front of the screen a math equation is shown over their heads. Typing in the correct answer and touching the zap button will convert the zombies back into human. There are multiple locations, and a boss at the end of each group of levels. It also has Amazon Game Circle integration to collect achievements.

The illustrations are great, the music is catchy and the app is all dressed up for the holidays. At the current price of free, it is hard not to give this app a try. I tested it on my Kindle Fire downloaded from the Amazon App store. It is also available in the iTunes App store. It has no ads, no in-app store and doesn’t seem to need internet (except for game circle).

Cutie Monsters Jigsaw Puzzles Preschool by Little Phoenix Interactive

Created just for toddlers, Cutie Monsters Jigsaw Puzzles by Phoenix Interactive is a learn to count interactive app.

Cutie Monsters has beautiful and creative illustrations, and good sound effects. As far as educational content the app consists of two main activities. One is an interactive story book. You have the option of either reading with the app by touching each word or letting the book read itself. In between the pages that have the story text, there are pages where you can click at animal parts to count. The second part of the app is the puzzle scene where you put together the monsters you just played with. The pieces are of a decent size, and snap into place when they find their place.

I questions some of the permissions required to run the app (on Android), especially since it doesn’t seem that it uses them. But overall it is a beautifully executed app. No in app purchase. No ads. And no internet required.

The app was reviewed on a Kindle Fire HD and is available on the Amazon App Store for $1.99. It also available in the Google Play and Apple App store (for other amounts). I limited free version exists.

Zorbit’s Math Adventure by Best Boy Entertainment

Zorbit’s Math Adventure by Best Boy Entertainment is a math education app geared for the younger learners. Unlike many apps in this category this educational app does not completely consist of math drills.

All the activities are centered around preparing and traveling to space. The activities are varied, and many very engaging. I found some of the activities a bit too long, but I suspect there are plenty of children where this will not be a problem. All the activities have an element of math or have a math drill built into them.

The game is beautifully illustrated. The sounds effects and music are unique, although slightly repetitive for the parents’ ears.

Zorbit’s Math Adventure is an excellent addition to a child’s math app collection, especially if they are into adventure and space. And what kid isn’t?

It is available only in the Apple App Store for $3.99. I tested on a iPhone; and the app was provided for free by the publisher. It doesn’t need an internet connection and has no ads or in app purchases.

Bugaboo Flash Cards by Bugaboo Games

Another educational math game from Bugaboo Games. The app consists of equations that have the missing answer. The child gets to pick the correct answer from the ones presented on the bottom of the screen.

The game has decent graphics and non-irritating sounds effects make this flash card game acceptable. For those that still don’t have a math flash card app, this one could help your child with math facts (especially if they are tested often at school). As for dislikes, I wish the app could track progress for multiple children.

The app is available on the Amazon App, Google Play and Nook store. A free/lite version exists, no in app advertisements and seems to work offline. I reviewed the free version (as prompted by the publisher).

Grade K Math by Study Pad, Inc.

This is the second app from Study Pad, Inc we review. We reviewed the 3rd grade app before and this educational app is just as good.

As with the first app the illustrations, music, and animations are very well down. It also keeps track of multiple students (a great addition for houses or schools where not every student has an iPad).

I tried this app with my 5-year-old daughter. At least at her age and skill level it is not an app that I can give her and just walk away (slightly advance). But we did have a great time working through the problems. I think I will add it to her home school activities.

Overall a great app. It is available in the Apple App store for $9.99. I free version exists. The app does not need internet connection, and the full version does not have in-app advertisement or in-app store (except to promote their other apps). I reviewed it on my full size iPad, and it was provided for free by the publisher.