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App Review: Middle School Math 7th Grade

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Middle School Math 7th Grade (free)
Grades 6-9
By Monkey In The Middle Apps LLC
Middle School Math 7th Grade is a marginally entertaining game, but I doubt it would hold a 7th graders attention for very long.  In this game, players guide a cute yet crudely drawn monkey (or other unlockable characters) down ladders by answering math questions.

The goal is make it to the bottom of the level while collecting bananas. In order to earn a banana and progress down the ladders, the player must answer math questions correctly.  Bananas can be used to unlock additional characters and backgrounds, so there is some incentive to keep going.  However, these “incentives” are cheesy static backgrounds of beaches, mountains, flowers etc.  The four free unlocked quizzes practice Negative numbers , Absolute Value, and Order of Operations.  Unlocking additional quizzes require an in-app purchase.

There are no game instructions, and one must figure out the game mechanics through trial and error.  However, it’s fairly easy to pick up and play.  Feedback is immediate, and there is perhaps some motivation to keep playing, as you feel somewhat compelled to post faster and faster times down the level without getting any questions wrong.  The levels get progressively harder as one goes along, and there is an element of scaffolding there as well, as each successive level builds upon the last.  However, it uses a linear step-by-step progression, without a storyline, varied paths, consequences, or engaging feedback.

Clicking on the (?) opens up a brief text tutorial about the math concept, and a hyperlink to a Khan Academy video of said topic.  The idea is for the learner to learn from the Khan video then return to the app to practice their skills.  The execution seems almost like an afterthought.

The motivation to replay and hone one’s math skills is marginal at best.  This is because the questions repeat quite frequently.  Also, each level is essentially identical, except that the ladders change locations, which brings us to the greatest flaw in the game…

Unfortunately the randomly generated ladders are often positioned too close to the edge of the screen, which prevents the character from progressing down the ladder.  This requires the player to back out and restart the level.  This is a terrible and almost crippling flaw within the game that only the most persistent players could endure.  Perhaps there is a better iOS version?

It’s clear that the developers of this game put very little effort into execution of this game.  It is crude, buggy, ugly, and severely lacking in its educational design.

Average: 3.3/5 Stars

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