Thursday, December 22, 2011

DigitZ

DigitZ is described as a Tetris like math game. Who doesn't love Tetris (I think I just revealed my nerdy side...)? This game has been well-received by a more general audience as compared to strictly an educational audience, receiving, 4 out of 4 stars from USA Today. 
Price: Free for the lite version; $0.99 for the full.
Device Requirements: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad; Requires iOS 3.0 or later




Developmental Appropriateness: Ok, first I have to say that this is not really Tetris - it doesn't require the spatial cognition skills (which has been shown to be linked to math skills) that Tetris does when trying to fit the pieces together. Instead, you have these falling numbers and you have to tap on numbers to total a specific number, say 13. So you would tap on the 6, 4, and 3. The numbers don't have to connect. So I'd say it's more like Clickomania than Tetris (more nerd alert). While this game may be disappointing to a true Tetris fan, it is a good game to help improve math fluency skills for simple addition problems. This game could be used to encourage those who like this type of game, but who may not like math so much to get some extra practice in. But keep in mind that this type of rote memorization of number facts is only part of skill set needed to attain good math skills. I'd say this game is fit for the average 2nd grader and up. You can adjust the speed and difficulty. Even at the easiest level, this would probably be too hard for Kindergarten and younger as kindergarteners are just learning to add. This could be useful for 1st graders to start memorizing their number facts. Rating: 4/5 (aim for around 7 years of age)

Balance: You can change the style and coloring of the blocks, but otherwise there are not really any extra features. The goal of not reaching the top really keeps you on task! Rating: 5/5

Sustainability: There is a high score list for each level, so even competitive older children and adults can keep coming back to best their own or one another's score. For people who enjoy games like Clickomania, the math would just be an added layer of complexity.  For people who don't like these types of games this is not the game for you. Rating: 4/5

Parental Involvement: For younger children who are just learning their number facts, having a parent there to give hints would be helpful. For older children who already know their number facts, having a parent there may just be distracting. This game is really a one-player game. Instead, parents could play as an opponent, encouraging their child to best their score. Rating: 3/5


Total: 16 out of 20 = 4 stars



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