ICE MATH NINJA
CONCEPT: Harness your Fruit Ninja skills to develop speed and accuracy in your number knowledge.
DELIVERY: One of the very first apps we reviewed here on iPad Educators was a little game called Factor Samurai. Though a little limited in scope, it was a great example of the power of gamification in the way it adapted the Fruit Ninja interface to develop the understanding of factors.
What that app did well, ice Math Ninja takes to the next level in many ways. The principle remains the same initially in that you use the touch screen to slice numbers. What elevates Ice Math Ninja is the range of activities on option and the little sprinkles of gaming features that add to the enjoyment and engagement of students.
So like with Factor Samurai, numbers are generally shot up from the bottom of the screen and you have to slice the correct ones. Whilst there is a game on offer for slicing non-prime numbers, there are several other variations. Try the quick fire addition to 21 for example or target multiples of a given digit. Younger students can focus on identifying odd end even numbers or slicing the total of a given sum. There's even a Tetris like number bonds game with a different control system (you slide ice blocks together to bond to 10.)
The range on offer is great and with three levels of difficulty and also a lightning round on offer, the challenges can be extends and differentiated very easily. Oh and those little sprinkles I mentioned? Throughout the games, special challenge blocks are incorporated which, when sliced, lead to some engaging interactions such as torrents of numbers suddenly cascading in a fast-paced free for all! These moments work well both as a breather from the actual mathematical thinking and as a fun interlude in general.
LIMITATIONS: The range of levels and challenges makes the game suitable for a variety of age groups but the story, characters are targeted at younger students. As such it could alienate older learners.
CONCLUSION: offering a range of activities and vibrant presentation, this is one maths game that is definitely worth a look. 4/5
Developing rapid recall number skills
Differentiated mental starter activities