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Numbers and math problems tend to be a bit more fun when it's a game, rather than a chore.
Math Training for Kids is an alternative, fun way for young school children to refine their skills at solving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.
Once you launch the app, most kids who regularly use computers or play games on Android devices won't have any difficulty finding their way from the main screen. Just select a game “type” — addition, subtraction, multiplication or division — and a level of difficulty: easy, medium or hard.
The game takes place in a grassy hill. The sky is bright blue, filled with fluffy clouds, and there are a few pots near the bottom of the screen. To make these sunflowers grow, the player must find the solution to each math problem. Math Training for Kids has a multiple-choice format, and the child must find the corresponding answer on the screen. The longer you play, and as you progress through the game, the more possible answers there are to choose from.
Math Training for Kids is pretty basic in design, but it's quite colorful. The setting and illustration style looks a bit like the kind of place where happy, friendly characters like the Care Bears might live. (Minus the rainbows.)
The app has a few fun sound effects. When you miss a problem, the sunflowers will express their disappointment that you didn't help them to grow. Math Training for Kids' soundtrack sounds a bit like a music box, only slightly more shrill — and the song it's playing on repeat seems to be “Silent Night.” It's not only odd, but irritating.
The game is cute, but it isn't very engaging, unfortunately, and probably won't hold a lot of young children's attention for long. If the game had more exciting, hands-on elements like shooting at asteroids (Math Blaster, anyone?), accomplishing mini-missions, or maintaining tiny civilizations, it would be more fun.
Those who are concerned about exposing their kids to more-than-necessary amounts of advertising might want to invest in a full version of a math game-style app. This one has quite a few annoying banner adds.
Games are a great way to introduce young children to math — and Math Training is a great place to start. This one isn't the best, though.