App Review
Numbers League

Beat bad guys with math in super-fun, super-powerful practice app

  • Two tutorials to choose from; more help at every step of the game.

  • Simply click the locks on the numbers you want to save and use.

  • Five cleverly named level titles help kids customize game to their current math level.

  • A villain is caught when number matches that of the hero.

  • Settings help customize gameplay to fit kids' preferences and environment.

Quick Take
Pros: Kids may almost forget they're practicing math as they focus on capturing the villains.
Cons: The stage-setting story and directions are all text (no voice instruction), so kids need to be able to read or have text read to them.
Bottom Line: Cool superheroes, a great story, and lots of ways to personalize the learning make this math app a blast to play either solo or with others.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

An engaging comic-book story at the beginning of first-time play immediately draws kids into the game. This app, with its great sound effects and fun superhero characters, can be played solo, or kids can play together as a superhero team.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 5

Math problems are built directly into gameplay, and five levels help adapt play to kids' current skills. Hints help if a kid gets stuck, and players are given the option to "discard" and try another combination.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 5

The tutorial is presented in two ways -- step-by-step written instructions with images or interactive, as if the kid is playing the game (recommended). The game offers lots of hints.

Our Review
What's It Like?

Numbers League is a math practice app that revolves around an exciting superhero mission. Villains (creatures, not humans) are roaming the town, and number heroes must capture them by matching combinations of numbers to each villain's Kryptonite-like digit that renders them powerless. The baddies land in jail in this completely non-violent superhero vs. bad guys game. In the practice round tutorial, kids create their personal hero and begin to understand how the game works. Another tutorial option simply explains the game in text and images. The practice round is highly recommended, especially for kids at the younger age recommended for this app. Kids can play solo or take turns with some of their classmates, each of whom (up to four) can have their own superhero avatar.

Kids make a hero by combining superhero head, body, and feet sections, where each part has a certain numerical value. A full compiled hero's value is the sum of its body parts, and they'll attack villains with the same number. Different strategies throughout the process can be used to attain the villain's target number, such as adding multiple heroes' sums. There are also "simple devices" that can be attached to the heroes to give them extra mathematical abilities.

Is It Good For Learning?

Playing the game, younger kids practice basic arithmetic and mental math. Older kids can play a more challenging game including negative numbers and multiplication, depending on which level is chosen (1-5). Once kids understand the game, Numbers League is so much fun that kids revel in practicing math to rid the city of its villain problem. As a result, they're learning an even bigger math lesson: that using numbers can solve real-life problems (even though in this game the "real life" problems involve masked superheroes and silly bad guys).

Each round begins with a newspaper showing the player's name in its headlines with a motivational caption. Players tap on that headline to start and create heroes to defeat villains. The levels progress in difficulty so that by the last level, players are using sophisticated math skills to defeat the baddies. Kids must use logic to figure out which new heroes to build, because they can only carry seven heroes at a time within the game. When kids have captured all the villains, the game is over. This sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is; however, it's crucial that kids read the traditional tutorial or play the interactive tutorial (recommended method) before playing the game the first time. There are also many explanation tabs throughout the game and hints if a kid gets stuck.

This review of Numbers League was written by

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