Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Math Blaster Online

Alternate Title: My Children are Better at the Computer Than Me

 Disclosure: I was provided with a membership good for Math Blaster and Knowledge Adventure at no cost by Knowledge Adventure in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.


I have long loved Math Blaster. It's been around since the 1980s and I have always heard good things about it. Although I never had the chance to play the really vintage version...we do have some experience with Math Blaster in other formats. For example, we've borrowed a computer CD game of it from a friend and Sweetheart has the DS version. This review is for the online version. Simple and easy. You can access it from any computer and don't have to keep up with a game.

Math Blaster has evolved a lot over the years! The main character is now "Max" and he gives directions and serves as a guide.


I would have been lost without you Max!

Your child gets to first create their own "Blaster Cadet" (character) and name themselves something cool like my name of Emma LunaFlare. They can customize the hair, clothing, and other features. This activity alone can take awhile and is quite fun. Once they are created, you are ready to play!

Customize your cadet before you play. You can edit later as well.

Here is where I must admit that Mom was lost and so I had to just let my child take the wheel, or the mouse as it were, and watch over her shoulder as she expertly figured out where to go and what to do. So obviously, just because it didn't make sense to a 40 year old....does not mean there is a flaw! Once she showed me around I was good to go.

There are a lot of games on Math Blaster and....this may surprise you...not all of them are math games. I think that's important to point out because I would have assumed if my child was spending 20 minutes playing Math Blaster that they were playing all math games. But Math Blaster offers both. Your little cadet can find math games by visiting the Academy and the Job Board. They can play other games in the Space Port. They are all fun, but I thought I'd point it out in case you need to make a rule of how many math games you want them to play before they play the other games.

I was happy to see more than just the four basic operations. This game has fractions, decimals, and percents.

This is a fun way to practice place value.
One thing I was very happy to find out was that there is no chance for my child to communicate with other people who are online. At first we thought you could, but it turns out they can only communicate with their friends. Maybe they'd like to play with their cousin, or friend, or classmate. These people can be added to their Buddy List. The good news is this feature can be controlled and monitored under the Parent Section on the website. We have not used the Buddy or chat feature because I have trained them not to communicate with others online.....but with these safety features in place it would be fine. I was so very glad to find a children's website with some good common sense about that feature!

Yee Haw!! This is my favorite game!

My favorite game is the Alien Wrangler. Basically, you get to ride the mechanical bull at Gilley's except the bull is an alien and you have to answer math problems instead of....well OK maybe it's not much like Gilley's. But it's really fun and is a great drill. You can choose from Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division and then you can choose from other categories inside of that. (Such as "facts up to 16", etc.) This game gets 2 thumbs up from me as a Mom because it gives quick math drill and is fun.

Choices to make it appropriate for your child.

There is also a Math Blaster Blog for the parents to check out. This is a helpful thing as it lets you know what features are new and sort of helps you feel like you actually know what your child is doing while they are on the game. Sweetheart does not need the blog, she just logs on and figures it out as she goes. My bet is your children will too.

Math Blaster does require a membership, but you can add up to 6 children on one account. There are also a lot of things in their Shop on the website such as a downloadable game, the Nintendo DS version, one of the math games from Math Blaster in ipad/iphone format, and much more. Check out the store here. 

I hope this review was helpful! If you take the summers off, or you children go to school and have the summer off, a membership to Math Blaster might be a good thing to give them something fun to do AND keep up with those math skills. If you have any questions I haven't covered--just holla!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review, Brenda!

    ReplyDelete
  2. only superbloggers to reviews! You rock!!!

    we love MB online!

    ReplyDelete

I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)