Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Attributes by Math Doodles

Attributes by Math Doodles

Fall 2015 Mobile Apps
Ages: 7 & Up
Developer: Carsten Studios
Download Price: $2.99
Platform: iPad

"Math is greater than numbers," the new Attributes by Math Doodles app from Carstens Studio tells us, and then it sets out to prove it. Attributes is a series of seven games, each with a wide range of difficulty levels, designed to challenge kids mathematically through tables, patterns, diagrams, and conditionals, only using numbers in ratios that provide clues to the more difficult levels. The games help late-elementary children develop the kind of mathematical reasoning that will serve them in the more abstract math classes of later grades and in the many careers that require such skills.

Each of the games features one of twenty collections of objects that share a set of attributes: bugs (head, body, and wing shapes), buttons (shape, color, and number of holes), genomes, flowers, faces, robots, quilted shapes, crazy creatures, buildings, robots, Möbius strips, arrows, knots, hieroglyphs, etc., suggesting that mathematical attributes appear not only in math but in biology, engineering, arts, crafts, architecture, archeology, and so on. Players solve puzzles progressively, advancing through up to ten levels in each game or choosing to stay on a favorite level; players can also choose to race the clock for a further challenge.

A verbal description of Attributes fails to do it justice. It is so appealing to look at -- it appears hand-drawn with colored pencils. The variety of play even within a single game keeps it fresh and challenging: as players progress, the attributes one seeks become mysteries, and players must rely on the ratios to deduce the patterns. Among our favorites were the if-else sort, resembling conditionals from computer programming but sometimes convoluted enough that multiple clever solutions were possible; and the combo table, in which items had to be placed according to multiple mystery attributes simultaneously. Though the game is designed for late elementary, even teens and adults found it hard to put down.

Emily Crawford   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Look for this product at:
Carsten Studios
Available on iTunes

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