Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids (out now, $2.99) tries to teach little kids about math and logic while telling a jungle story. As an adult, I can’t truly determine how much fun a kid would have with this, but it appears to be an attractive package altogether. Except for a few grammar issues.
The math and logic problems are split into nine chapters, which includes teaching numbers and logical sequences, distinguishing shapes and sizes, visual and spatial perception, and of course, counting, addition, and subtraction. All this takes place during the course of the story told. Kids are, for instance, asked to separate bigger animals from smaller, find objects behind bushes, as well as piece together ripped pictures, like simplified jigsaw puzzles. Controls are easy, involving only taps and swipes.
Parents can check their kid’s progress in the parental section, although you might not want to leave your iPad alone with a four-year-old so you’d likely know how they’re faring anyway. Math Tales doesn’t allow incorrect choices or movements, making it impossible for a kid to get an answer permanently wrong. If they’re unsure about a puzzle, they could probably learn by trial and error.
My only quibble with Math Tales lies with the grammar. The text on the second page had me scratching my head (figuratively). It goes like this:
Page One: On a sunny day, the king of the jungle called all the animals, making a rumble!
Page Two: They ran very soon, they wanted to know which one was the will he wanted to show!
I didn’t put on my writer’s hat and get picky by thinking there are too many exclamation marks (although there are). The first thing to pop into my mind was, What will? They’re teaching kids about wills? I still haven’t figured out what this “will” is, as the subsequent pages mention nothing of it. Instead, the story goes on to talk about a missing elephant called Ray, who ran from his circus. I also spotted punctuation errors. I don’t usually complain about grammatical issues in games, but since Math Tales is aimed at educating little ones, it’s a bigger problem. It’s great for nursery rhymes to sound cute and rhyme-y, but they should also make some sense! Luckily, it’s nothing an edit won’t fix.
Math Tales is a colorful, easy-to-navigate educational game, which should help kids under five pick up basic math and logic concepts. Its major drawback, as of now, involves a few poorly worded sentences and punctuation issues, which hopefully will get addressed in future versions.