Use Math to Rescue Displaced Creatures
The story behind Jump! A Game of Numbers involves little creatures knows as Snortles. These tiny creatures live inside a volcano, but were displaced when the mountain erupted. It is up to the player to create pathways using number sequences so that the Snortles can make it back home.
How to Play
This math game presents 47 rescue missions spread over 6 locations (or lands). In each mission, there are three Snortles to save. Kids control a hero who crosses a body of water by leaping onto floating numbered cells (think lily pads) in a specific order -- such as counting by 2s, 3s, or 10s. Players need to locate the Snortles as they do the skip counting and then reach the other side. At times, the correct number in the sequence isn't available; so rescuers need to combine number cells to create new numbers.
Jump! A Game of Numbers does a good job of creating a reason for kids to use skip counting and mental math. But it is a one-trick pony; and as such, it may not sustain some kids' interest over all of the puzzles.
The puzzles start out easy with requiring kids to count by 1s or 2s. As players succeed, the puzzles get harder by requiring larger addition (counting by 4s and up) and introducing negative numbers (subtraction). By using an adaptive engine, this app adjusts the difficulty of the puzzles depending on how the player is doing. Hints are available, but using too many of them results in the difficulty level being adjusted down. This adaptive engine works well to tailor the math experience to each child. However, I found it frustrating to push "Replay" when I hadn't collected all of the Snortles in a puzzle, and then be taken to a different puzzle instead of the one I had just played.
In addition to introducing more difficult math, the puzzles also get harder and more intense by introducing Stompers and fuses. The Stompers are characters who travel behind you, trying to catch up so that they can steal your rescued Snortles. Likewise, fuses appear on the trail; and if they reach you, the rescued Snortles disappear. Kids will need to calculate quickly to beat the Stompers and fuses. For kids who don't want this kind of stress, there is an option to turn off the Stompers and fuses.
The Snortles are cute little jumping creatures that get very excited to be rescued. It is easy for the player to bond with these appreciative characters. Unfortunately, the Snortles make repetitive sounds in whiny voices, which I found to be very annoying. Luckily, the app has an option to turn off the sounds; but when you do, you also lose the interesting background sounds.
The game rewards kids with earning beach balls whenever they combine numbers to create new ones. The balls show up at the celebratory party shown at the end of each of the six locations; so the more combining-of-numbers the player does, the bigger the party of beach balls, confetti, and Snortles.
Jump! A Game of Numbers gamifies the process of learning interval counting. Since getting good at counting by 2s, 3s, 4s, etc. is the beginning of learning how to multiply, this is an important skill for kids to master. Jump! makes drilling math sequences fun. The app allows for an unlimited number of players, making it easy to use in a classroom. This app seems better suited for a school setting than at home, although kids who love math will get a kick out of it in either location.
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.This kids' app review of Jump! A Game of Numbers was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
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