Mystery Math Town is a newly-released maths app for iPad from Art Gig Apps, the same company that released Shake a Phrase. Filled with great graphics and moody background music, this app will take pupils on an adventure through the houses of a Gothic-looking town where they will practise their maths skills on an almost incidental level.
Multiple user accounts can be set up for pupils and they can create their own avatars to participate in the adventure. The objective in the game is to release the friendly fireflies that are hidden throughout the houses in the town. In order to move from room to room in the house, pupils will be required to solve some maths problems. These problems can be tailored to suit the pupils, with addition, subtraction and multiplication problems available.
Pupils collect various numbers in the rooms of the house and use these numbers to solve the maths problem, thereby allowing them to move to another room in the house to rescue the fireflies. A certain number of fireflies have to be rescued from each house. Pupils will have to bear in mind that they can only hold onto eight numbers at a time in order to help them to solve the maths problems, so they will have to start constructing a strategy of which number to hold onto and which to leave behind. If they leave a number behind, they may need to remember in which room in the house it is located as it may be needed again to solve a maths problem.
A quirky aspect to this game are the talking portraits that can be gathered to hang in your Gallery in the game. They are very reminiscent of a Harry Potter movie! Pupils can choose to collect gold coins throughout the rooms of the house in order to earn a portrait. When the portraits are hung in the Gallery, they can talk, giving information about themselves and sometimes divulge information about the town.
This app comes with a word of warning – it is quite addictive! You can spend a considerable amount of time working through the game, solving maths equations as you go. I spent ages in one house in the game going out onto the balcony, down to the cellar, out the windows, up the stairs, all in the search for a number to help me solve an equation! At the moment, this app is available in the App Store for iPad users only running iOS 5 or later. It costs €2.69 and it’s well worth it.