Mystery Math Town – Take the Mystery out of Math!

by on April 8, 2013 · 48 comments

If you have a child who is befuddled by math, loves games, or both, you need to check out Mystery Math Town. This brand spanking new app is so very much fun that the only mystery will be how to get your iPad back from your kids once they start playing it.

Mystery Math Town is from Artgig Studios, the developer who brought you Marble Math, Alien Buddies and Shake-a-Phrase (see, Fun Apps to Entertain (and Educate) Your Child), and is filled with high quality images and sounds. The app is designed for kids ages 6-12, but I quickly discovered that adults can have fun playing this game too! The app takes you on a journey through Mystery Math Town, navigating through houses and solving math problems to achieve your goals.

This app teaches addition, subtraction and multiplication in a unique and fun way. The math solution is provided (think Jeopardy!) and you have to insert the numbers to be added, subtracted or multiplied. To make the math even more challenging, you can include dice and hash marks in addition to numbers.

The app involves analytical thinking well beyond the typical flash card method of problem solving. You really have to think to make your way through the maze of Mystery Town houses and collect the numbers you need to solve the problems and progress in the game.

The player has two goals. The first is to collect fireflies from houses along a path. The second is to collect gold stars that earn you a portrait for your portrait gallery.

Each house is a maze of rooms (no sane architect would actually design a floor plan that appears in any of these houses, but that’s part of the fun!) the players must navigate through to collect their fireflies/gold stars. To enter each room, players need to solve math equations with numbers floating around the room. Players collect the numbers to carry with them into each room and solve equations.

In the beginning, the game is quite simple. You collect the numbers and answer the problems. But the game gets more challenging with each house. Both the maze and math equations become more difficult. Additionally, more numbers float around than you can collect in your drawer. The challenge then becomes deciding which numbers you need to collect to enter the rooms and remembering where to return to retrieve those numbers.

You start by creating an account and designing your avatar. You can pick from different hair, eyes and mouth to create a cute cartoon character. The app lets you sign in when you play so multiple players can enjoy the game and have their progress saved for the next time they play. You can adjust the level of math skills so that each player can enjoy a game that is challenging but not overwhelming.

What makes this game particularly endearing, besides the fantastic graphics and sounds, clever concept and fun game play, is the special features. Many rooms have objects that can be pressed for fun effects. Exploring each room for the first time is especially fun when you take a few moments to explore the objects. You’ll want to see what, if anything, responds to being pressed. Hint: press some items more than once for different results.

Here’s a video showing the game in action:

While the game says it is designed for 6-12 year olds, the game is so much fun, older kids and adults will enjoy playing the game as well. If you like maze games, Sudoku puzzles and/or having fun, this game is for you too.

Tech Tip: Don’t play this game the morning you’re supposed to check out of a hotel room, before you take a shower. I tried that…bad idea!

If you’re planning a trip and are looking for a fun way to keep your kids occupied, make sure to get Mystery Math Town before you leave. Your kids will be engaged and arrive with better math skills than when they left home. Just don’t be surprised when they complain, “Are we there already?”

Mystery Math Town is available for iPad for $2.99 in the iTunes App Store. That’s right, for less than the price of renting a movie, you can have hours of entertainment (and education).

Do your kids enjoy math games? Do they like learning through fun? Have you ever become so caught up in a game that you lost track of time? Let us know in the Comments section below!

Artgig Studios provided me with a promo code for this app to review. No compensation was received for the review of this app.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

Harleena Singh
Twitter:
April 8, 2013 at 7:34 am

Hi Carolyn,

This is so very cool :-)

I wish I had known of Mystery Math Town when my kids were that young, though as you mentioned even older adults and my kids now might enjoy it. I loved the video and those fireflies and all those things kept me glued.

I guess when children that young are given a fun way of learning things like Maths – they are able to grasp it much better than when they are taught the normal way they teach at school. I am surely going to share this, so that parents with younger kids, and older ones too get to know of this.

Thanks for sharing, and have a wonderful week ahead :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 8, 2013 at 10:09 am

Hi Harleena, You’re right, this game is a lot of fun even for adults. You can tailor the game to the skill level you want, making the game easier or more challenging. The design is fun, funny and engaging. I’m thinking a lot of kids will benefit from this app.

Thanks so much for sharing this article with others and for sharing your thoughts here with us today. Have a super week ahead, Harleena!
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Bill Dorman
Twitter:
April 8, 2013 at 7:36 am

Math was cool until they invited letters….just sayin’….

If you can make learning fun, it is much easier to teach; that’s for sure.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 8, 2013 at 10:14 am

Hi Bill, You are so right! This game is fun and, dare I say, addictive. When you want to play the game, you don’t have to worry about learning. How cool is that?

Thanks for stopping by today and sharing your thoughts!
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Mark April 8, 2013 at 8:57 am

As you know, Carolyn, I have a truck load of kids – thanks for sharing this app, they all need to learn more math!
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 8, 2013 at 10:30 am

Hi Mark, Yes, this app is perfect for those who have a lot of kids. Everyone needs to learn math, so why not make it fun?

I’m glad you like this app, Mark!
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Ruth Zive April 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I hate to break it to you Carolyn, but I was all excited for my math-resistant son to download this app…and when I told him about it, his response was, “Been there, done that….BOOOORING!” I’m just the messenger :-) .
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 8, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Hi Ruth, You bring up an excellent point. Perhaps the developer should have a Lite version that lets you try the first few houses for free to test the app, though the app really gets fun as the houses progress and the difficulty increases.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Hi Ruth, I just heard back from the developer and there are no plans right now to make a free version of the app, but they are considering it.
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David Fawcett April 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Please note Mystery Math Town is in no way related to Mystery Math by @FawzmaGames

Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 8, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Hi David, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! Duly noted. I just checked out your app, Mystery Math, and it looks like another great math app for kids. You can never have too many great math apps, right?

Thanks for stopping by to let us know about your math app!
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David Fawcett April 9, 2013 at 5:31 am

Thank you! If anyone is interested in taking a look at my game up close, let me know.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 10, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I sure do…me! Please email me at carolyn@wonderoftech.com. :-)
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David Fawcett April 10, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Check your email, It tough coming up with enough words for this reply to go through :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Thanks so much for the promo codes, David. I will check out Mystery Math. :-)
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Craig McBreen
Twitter:
April 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm

My wife enjoys math. She really does, so maybe I’ll send this link to her ;-) My kids are creative, but tend to put off anything math related and they describe math in very painful terms, plus they’re teenagers and beyond help (I kid). I recently got a book: Secrets of Mental Math and it’s a great way to start the day. The author describes himself as a “Mathemagician” and I agree … some of his tricks to fast calculation are very cool … makes me wonder if there’s an app for that? :-)

Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Hi Craig, I found a Mathemagic app for the iPhone/iPad that looks pretty good for $0.99. https://itunes.apple.com/app/mathemagics-mental-math-tricks/id306586847?ign-mpt=uo%3D6&mt=8

I just downloaded it so maybe I’ll give it a review!
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Craig McBreen
Twitter:
April 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Very cool :-) Looking forward to a review. I’ll be forever honing my skills :-)

Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 9, 2013 at 6:36 am

You’re right, it’s never a bad idea to hone our math skills!
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Jens P. Berget
Twitter:
April 8, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Mystery Math Town sounds awesome and perfect for my kids, Haakon is 7 years old and Helle is 9 (turning 10 in September). And they both love math. But, do you know if they need to understand English well in order to play it, or is it more or less just math with numbers?
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 9, 2013 at 6:34 am

Hi Jens, Yes, your kids will really enjoy this app, even without knowing English. You should probably set up the skill levels for them because that requires English, but they can play all day without needing English.

The game does use English when some of the objects talk (I won’t give anything away about the mystery), but those comments are funny and not key to the game.
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Rishabh Misra April 9, 2013 at 1:04 am

WoW it’s cool due Apps. i am little bit panic mathematics but i visit your blog and read this post. i sought out fear. through these Apps it’s fun loving game. and my little sister really admire this Mystery Math Town.
Thank you CAROLYN.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Hi Rishabh, Yes, when math is fun then children aren’t even thinking about the fact that they’re learning or that they are afraid of math. I hope you and your sister enjoy this fun app!
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Khaja Moin April 9, 2013 at 1:46 am

Looks cools!
I wish this app when I was kid.
Anyway will try to share it with my cousin`s kids.
Thanks Carolyn, your blog has become a tech update for me.

~@Khajamoin1
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 9, 2013 at 6:30 am

Hi Khaja, I’m so glad this was helpful to you and that you’ll be sharing this with your cousin’s kids. Math is becoming even more important these days so the skills they develop will be useful for a lifetime!
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agence référencement April 9, 2013 at 9:53 am

nowadays , math becomes as a difficult branch for most children . this make them so crazy so more. what we can say here, is that they can’t remember the numbers and how they can calculate in an easy way , with a great mentality. from my experience i do a great effort with my children to do that but i can. i find a solution is by checking out Mystery Math Town. really this is more effective by children .also what i can say about , with a two or three days i find my children automatically becoming intelligent. they start learning math and how they calculate in a short time . this is an effective way for children to learn about math in a short time. this Process should be followed not on math but also on learning language and so on.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Hello Agence, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! What a marvelous idea! This could be a great way for students to learn a new language. I hope there is an app developer who develops a fun app to help children learn a new language.

Thanks for sharing your brilliant idea with us. :-)
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Praveen Rajarao ( April 9, 2013 at 10:03 am

Sad it isnt available on Play :-( I just searched, i was really hoping to download this app.

math is always fun :-) . Hope some developer will release this for Android phones.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Hi Praveen, No, this app, like many kids’ educational apps, is iPad only. If an app is available on Android too, I always include a link.

Perhaps when Android tablets become more popular then developers will expand their educational apps onto that platform. In the meantime, I will check with the developer to see if there are any plans to bring Mystery Math Town to Android.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Hi Praveen, I just heard back from the developer and there are no definite plans to expand the app beyond the iPad.
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Praveen Rajarao ( April 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Well, that sucks…..was really hoping to check that out. Maybe something similar will get done for Android :-)

Thanks for checking back with me.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Yes, many app developers bring educational apps only to the iPad. iOS users seem more willing to pay for apps than Android users. See, More Android Apps Downloaded in Q1, But Apple Had Higher Revenue.
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Dragos April 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Hey Carolyn! Thanks for sharing this post! I will try to introduce in my kids “menu” such constructive games because I think they are fun and challenging and I had enough scratches on my tablet from “Fruit Ninja” and c o:-) !
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Hi Dragos, Excellent point. Chances are your kids are borrowing your iPad to play games anyway. Why not have them play fun games that also hone their math skills?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insights with us, Dragos!
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Adrienne
Twitter:
April 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I know I’ve said this before Carolyn but I wish they had this stuff when I was in school. Math and science were my worst subjects. We didn’t have calculators back then and they wouldn’t have been allowed in school if we had. My poor brain couldn’t comprehend all that adding and subtracting and thank goodness I never had to take algebra. I would have failed for sure.

I loved the video, how fun!

Thanks for sharing this cool and fun program. Apps are becoming so fun now.

~Adrienne
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 9, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Hi Adrienne, Yes, I’m with you there. I wish they had these when I was a kid too. The change in technology is so rapid, who knows what this generation will be telling their kids that they wish they had when they were in school.

The kids who are graduating high school this year didn’t have iPads when they started high school because the iPad hadn’t been launched yet. Amazing.
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Manickam Vijayabanu April 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Carolyn,
The features and options looks good and would attract kids. Kind of play and learn for right age kids. I love the Sid the science kid program a lot and indeed we learn a lot when I watchGot little disappointed since not for Android and may come down soon for that as well.

Thanks for sharing the info Carolyn. :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 9, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Hi Vijay, Excellent point. These educational apps are similar to children’s educational television programs. Learning can be fun!

I will check with the developer to see whether Mystery Math Town will be coming to Android.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Hi Vijay, I just heard back from the developer. Bringing Mystery Math Town to Android hasn’t been ruled out, but there are no immediate plans to expand the app beyond iPad.
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Manickam Vijayabanu April 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Carolyn,
Thanks for the followup. I do agree there could be some technical and business clutch would for not Android version now. Let’s wait and thanks again for the follow up. :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Yes, who knows which platform will be more popular for developers within the next few years?
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Frank Cern April 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm

I did some private Math tutoring for teenagers a while back and I can tell you that this app would have proven to be quite helpful.
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Lancia April 15, 2013 at 2:12 am

Amazing game. This is a great app to educate children about mathematics and in the interesting way. Mathematics has always been fun for me. Hence at first I will try out this.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 15, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Hi Lancia, Yes, if you’re a fan of math and puzzle games, then you would enjoy this app. It’s not just fun for kids!
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Jeremy Norton April 16, 2013 at 11:01 pm

This is perfect for my preschool kid. He loves solving a lot and very interested in learning how to add and subtract numbers.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr April 22, 2013 at 11:38 am

Hi Jeremy, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! Yes, you can customize this app to adjust the level of difficulty for your child and increase the difficulty level as he progresses. Enjoy the Mystery Math Town app!
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Daniel Robert May 1, 2013 at 5:32 am

It’s a good game for kids who are poor at math or have no interest in math subject. This game will definitely help kids in learning. Making learning process easy for children’s will help them in understanding better.
Thanks for sharing as this app will gonna help many mommy’s who are worrying about their kids.

Cheers

Carolyn Nicander Mohr May 1, 2013 at 10:50 am

Hi Daniel, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! Yes, this game makes learning fun which is a wonderful thing for children to help them enjoy math.
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