If you’re a fan of fun ways to learn, then you’re probably a fan of educational apps. Jump! A Game of Numbers is a brand new app that helps children learn math skills in an entertaining and engaging story.
Unlike some other math apps that rely on memorization of math facts, Jump! shows math in the context of a story, helping children understand the purpose of their calculations. The game is fun and, well, addictive as you play, trying do your best to be the hero of the story.
Players use math skills to build a path over water to save adorable creatures and help them find a new home. Jump! could inspire budding engineers who may later use their math skills to build bridges, helping others and changing the world.
Jump! is filled with cute critters called Snortles who were living happily in a volcano (not their best location decision) when they are displaced by an eruption. Your task, should you choose to complete it, is to relocate the Snortles to a new (and safer) home.
You must navigate over bodies of water to build a path using your math skills. Each step in the path is a circle with a number. You must count to find the next step in the path. Jump to the correct numbered circles to create the path.
While that might sound easy, the game actually can be quite challenging. At first you count by ones but as the game progresses you have to count by other numbers: 2, 6, 7, 9, etc. As you make your way across the water you’re learning addition and multiplication.
Sometimes you can combine two or three circles together to get the correct numbered circle. Bonus points are awarded for moving to a circle you’ve combined from others.
The game throws in negative numbers to add subtraction skills into the mix. Combine a negative numbered circle with a positive numbered circle to take a step.
The path across the water isn’t necessarily a straight one. You must alter your path to rescue the Snortles from their life preservers and help them on their path to their new home. Snortles are very happy when you save them.
The game also develops processing skills. As the game gets to higher levels the circles move so you must time your jump to hit the circles when they’re near you.
This video gives you a preview of Jump!
The Villains of Jump!
The app lets you add a time element to the game with villains who want you to hurry. You must build the path rescue Snortles quickly when Fuse and Stomper are in the game.
These villains will steal the Snortles so you must complete the path before they catch up to you.
If you would prefer a calmer game without the threat of danger to the Snortles, you can turn off Fuse and Snortle in settings at any time.
A Little Help, Please?
Wrong answers aren’t punished. Your character shakes its head no when you make a mistake and the game won’t let you move to a wrong circle.
A hint button is always available to show you the correct circle and help you along your path. You can go back in the game and repeat levels to practice your skills, without losing your highest level.
The app encourages learning with a celebration after a level is completed.
It’s party time!
After each level the party gets more and more fun. You begin to wish real life were this way…
Jump! personalizes the game with individual player accounts. To get started enter the player’s name to set up an account. Your name is used later in the game at the party when you’re congratulated for completing a level. Yea!
You can set up an unlimited number of player accounts so you can use this app with a family or in a classroom.
Because Jump! covers a wide range of skills, the app can be used for basic to more advanced math skills. Start with basic counting, then advance to addition, subtraction and begin to learn your multiplication skills.
You don’t have to figure out the level for your child, the app does that for you. As your child advances through the game, the app adapts to make the next step challenging, but not impossible.
Jump! A Game of Numbers is available free for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch for the first level. You can unlock all levels for $2.99.
Do you like the idea of apps that teach skills with a story? Do you like apps that adapt to skill levels? Do you wish you had educational apps when you were a kid?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
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Learners of English who are interested in tech should check out Voice of America Learning English. My personal technology column this week features: Facebook Reactions Much More Than a Like.