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Sunday, September 06, 2015

Math apps your kids will want to play by Jinny Gudmundsen, Special for USA TODAY

Follow on Twitter as @JinnyGudmunsen
"With summer almost over, it's time to fire up your kids' brain cells. One way to ease them into the rigors of school is to introduce some fun math apps." according to Jinny Gudmundsen, Editor of and author of iPad Apps for Kids, a For Dummies book.

These three apps score high on kid-appeal while also imparting solid math training.

Twelve a Dozen

In Twelve a Dozen, kids help the character Twelve to change her face value to overcome obstacles in the math-based platform-puzzler. 
(Photo: Bossa Studios)

Bossa Studios Ltd, best for ages 8-14, $3.99, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Rating: 4 stars (out of 4)

Kids embark on an "add-venture" with Twelve, an adorable character whose face is a TV screen showing the number 12. Twelve's village of Dozenopolis has suffered an attack, and she is on a mission to find and rescue her family. Joining her is a decimal point named Dot and other numbers she meets along her way.

In this platform puzzler, kids help Twelve to navigate dangerous terrain by controlling where she runs, when she jumps and how she uses math to eliminate the many obstacles in her way. Some obstacles can be eradicated by changing Twelve's face value. She does this by entering special machines (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) that allow her to combine with other numbers she has found along the way. Other obstacles can be overcome by Twelve's changing her face value into a special number such as five, which allows her to swim.

The Kid-Appeal: With lots of falling debris and a color palate that is predominately black, kids feel as if they are navigating a dangerous world. Couple this suspenseful environment with an interesting story, filled with droll humor delivered by comedian Lucy Montgomery, and the result is a game with a quirky vibe, similar to that of award-winning World of Goo HD. Even better is the way that doing math isn't an "add-on," rather it is the core of the gameplay. Kids solve order-of-operations puzzles to succeed.

Bonus Tip: For an equally compelling math game that focuses on early algebra, check out DragonBox Algebra 5+; and for one that incorporates Euclidian geometry, try DragonBox Elements.
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Source: USA Today