Math Ninja In Review – TD + Ninjas + Giant Tomato = Fun While Learning!

There are a fair amount of apps in the App Store now that could be classified as educational or a learning tool. Ranging from toddlers to full grown adults, they often come in the form of some sort of game that incorporates actual learning as well. One such title is Math Ninja, an educational game that attempts to make math fun once again for the young (and old more mature). Read on to see if I got my learn on, or just a big fat F.

I remember as a child when my parents used to try and introduce “learning games” to me; most of the time I thought they were extremely boring or lame. There was no real integration of the game and learning aspects and it was never put together in a way that you can’t do one without the other. As a result I would often skip the learning part, which then obviously renders the whole exercise useless. Thankfully Math Ninja tries to solve that problem.

The basic setup of the game is of the castle defense variety – you are a ninja (a MATH NINJA) and you must defend yourself from various critters that are being sent to attack you by an evil giant tomato. Now to some adults, I’m sure this is just sounding really lame, but if you just use your imagination and remember when you were little, I’m sure you’ll see the fun that can be had.

You defend yourself in a treehouse using various weapons that can be purchased between rounds. Being able to do that is where the learning comes in. The way you earn cash is by answering a series of math questions after successfully defending yourself in a round. The more you answer correctly, the more cash you rack up. Simple, fun, and integrated in a way you’ll want to score well on the math questions for all those upgrades and goodies.

Now to make the game more accessible to all ages, you have the option of selecting the difficulty level (easy,normal,ninja!) as well as what types of math questions you want to be challenged with (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). You are also shown help menus during your first round of play to either teach you or remind you of the game rules. While it is definitely useful for all new comers to have the help section during the 1st round, it appears that it’s the only place where it can be found (a separate help menu would be have been nice).

Visually Math Ninja isn’t going to blow your mind. The artwork and design comes together rather nicely and should appeal to the younger gamers who are actually in the process of learning the basics of math. It’s not hard to imagine a 5 or 7 year old being drawn to an adorable looking giant (and evil) tomato and wanting to learn more about addition/subtraction as result.

Overall I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with Math Ninja. I didn’t know what to expect going into the review and while I don’t have any kids of my own yet, I can definitely appreciate the value of an app like this. The ability to sneak some learning in with your kids while letting them play a game is an absolute plus for parents. That said,  for all you parents out there with young ‘uns who are looking for some fun and educational apps for the iDevice, Math Ninja is recommended. If you don’t want to drop $1.99 on the app just yet, there’s also a free lite version you can check out.

App Summary
Title: Math Ninja Developer: Ray Wenderlich
Reviewed Ver: 1.2 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $1.99 App Size: 10.8 MB
  • Really fun game
  • Great learning/playing integration
  • Could appeal to a wide audience
  • Graphics might not be good enough for some
  • Math only means limited learning (e.g. no english,science,etc)


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