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Review: MathBlaster

MathBlaster, an award-winning 3D virtual world by Knowledge Adventure, aims to blend learning and entertainment by inspiring minds through immersed play.

This is how MathBlaster describes their program for ages 6-12:  “…as new recruits at the prestigious Blaster Academy, kids will play arcade-style math games and race through high-speed missions with the help of a cast of characters that are out of this world! After learning the ropes in Blaster Academy, new cadets will join the Intergalactic Space Patrol (ISP), an elite team of Blasters sworn to explore and protect the universe. Armed with the most advanced gadgets and fine-tuned math skills, the cadets of the ISP will travel to exotic new planets, discover bizarre alien races and face extraordinary challenges.”

In other words, it’s wild, crazy fun, and my kids are ‘having a blast’ with it.  They’ve found all sorts of ways to enjoy MathBlaster in their allotted 30 minutes a day (which often gets stretched ‘accidentally’).  However, they can, and do, bypass the math a lot of the time.

While children do need to do math during the course of some of the games and to achieve a higher rank, there’s not really enough of it for serious learning.  Credits earned from math problems are the currency needed to buy anything, and this can be a motivator.  However, children can choose their own level of difficulty, so they can take the easy options and not learn much, or they can work hard and learn a lot.

According to Miss 11, the whole point of MathBlaster is to do math to earn things like cars for the race track, a mutt to take to another planet, and a house full of stuff… but I watch her building tracks, sailing down enormous slides, racing, and exploring intricate 3D worlds with a huge green-and-yellow pet at her side.

If your kids like virtual worlds, aliens, and computer games, they will enjoy MathBlaster.  Miss 11 told me that Math Blaster is so much fun and drills math so well that it deserves a very good review. Mr. 16 wanted me to point out that the 3D world is very well done.  And I love the peaceful water sounds when Miss 11 is flying up to the top of a huge slide with her mutt.  Obviously, we enjoy MathBlaster.

However, if you, like me, don’t really like the concept of virtual worlds, aliens, and too much computer time, you’ll occasionally wonder why you joined the millions of other MathBlaster parents.  Then you’ll discover how much your child enjoys designing race tracks or whatever.  And if you’re like me, you’ll sigh and say, “OK, it was probably worth it, and it does teach some math…but I’ll use something else for serious math drill.”

If you’re curious, you can try MathBlaster for free.  It costs about $75US per year for up to 6 children, although there are monthly and lifetime payment options as well. Note that a membership also includes the JumpStart virtual world and 4 downloadable games. Or you can request the three-month giveaway membership.

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary membership for MathBlaster, as well as the companion world JumpStart, by Knowledge Adventure in order to post my own honest opinions on it.

One Comment

  1. Jenn4him says:

    I was interested until I saw the price! I am sure it is worth it, but… so many things to spend money on and so little money to spend!

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