Games are a great way to learn and review subjects like math. Arithmagic combines the fun of defeating monsters with math skills through an app that’s available in both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store. Created by a Canadian game designer and a Canadian artist, this game offers 70 different levels of play available in both a challenging and a relaxed mode, requiring players to defeat monsters through quick thinking addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division combinations.
Similar to an RPG game, successful gameplay will increase your strength and skills along the way, allows you to buy new spells, and face harder opponents. Defeating bosses will give you new cards to add to your pile. It’s fast-paced and interactive, allowing you to work on your mental math skills.
As a math and puzzle-loving family, this app was right up our alley. I was told it would appeal to all ages, and that was completely accurate in our case. More than once I found myself wanting to take over for my children when I saw good numerical combos to defeat the monsters. The fact that it is adaptable to whatever type of mathematical review a family may be looking for is also a wonderful feature. We could manipulate the card deck, increasing or decreasing the different types of math functions that appeared for us to work with. These cards were used to magically attack the monsters, defeating them once their health was brought to zero by means of adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing.
Both of my children chose to play the challenging difficulty level. Being able to collect stars and skill points to level up their wizard was definitely the main attraction! After downloading the app, they were wanting to play every chance they got, comparing progress with each other as they journeyed across the map, collecting spells and upgrades. They also found it rewarding to return to levels where they may have missed a star the first time through for 100% completion. We took a peek at relaxing mode and loved what we saw as well. No health bar to worry about would be a lovely option for those not wishing the concern of a health limit while they figured equations out.
“I liked that you could upgrade your character.”
– Joshua, age 11
It is a refreshing change of pace to have the mathematical freedom to create solutions instead of just being fed drills. 3+4=7, well how about 5×2-4+1=7! Not everyone may like this as much as I did, but as a mother wanting to make my children’s minds work a little harder (as opposed to sitting them in front of an app they can flick their way through), I also enjoyed that the monster’s health didn’t reset after every card was placed upon him. If the enemy was at 7 health and they added a -2 card, it would then sit at 7-2 health instead of instantly resetting to 5.
The entire game has an enjoyably whimsical style of gameplay and animation. The characters are adorably drawn and the overall presentation is so inviting. The varying landscapes and enemies kept things interesting while the gentle thematic music was a nice change of pace when compared to most combat games. We could manipulate our cards without the stress of bass and drums.
“I liked that when you got further, you got different bad guys.”
-Andrea, age 13
When considering suggestions, we did come up with the idea that it would be nice to be able to have multiple accounts on a single device. Overall, this is a very well thought out, delightful math game that we very much enjoyed.
Disclosure: We were given a copy of this game in exchange for an honest review.
This app was reviewed by:
My name is Christine. I am a stay-at-home mom and homeschool my two children in Alberta, Canada and have since they were ready to start school. They are now in grades 8 and 6. Our style, like most, is an eclectic range beginning with a more child-led, exploration-based approach to science all the way through to a full step-by-step curriculum for math. Our days are filled with multi-sport gatherings, art lessons, sewing and piano instruction, cheerleading, as well as scouts and homesteading classes to get us out of the suburbs. I loved it when I saw someone had coined the term carschooling since that’s definitely what it feels like sometimes! On our days off (if there really is such a thing), we are huge game and puzzle fanatics, or you can find us at a local symphony or art gallery soaking in some soul food. I sneak away when I can for some self-love via fitness classes, gym workouts, and badminton matches. I am very much in love with the beauty and chaos of our homeschooling life.