Who says math isn’t fun?
We love the virtual world of MathBlaster.com at our home, so it was only appropriate to try out the new and improved HyperBlast 2 HD on our iPad (this is the mobile app version of the HyperBlast that we play on their parent site).
In simple terms, the (vivid 3D graphics) arcade-style game features a Blaster Cadet (the player) traveling through a series of tunnels (each level different than the previous) at high speeds while dodging obstacles, blasting alien robots and performing as many math problems as possible before the timer runs out. Before the fast-paced action starts, the player can select the level of difficulty and the lesson (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, or standard form), giving you 40 different levels of mind-bending math.
With the multiple levels and lessons, it is a highly adaptable game for the beginner mathematician to the older, more skilled one. And whatever your level, it’s fun! I found myself, a very skillful math-loving but video game skeptic mom, playing (and loving) HyperBlast 2 HD after my children were in bed. It’s visually stimulating and exciting for all ages!
It gives you a quick but ample tutorial to get started, and off you go easily steering (by tilting your device left and right) and touching the screen to blast away the alien robots. As the game progresses, you come into contact with more obstacles and aliens, so you need to defend yourself by collecting more “shield protection” along the way.
At each interval, the HyperCycle stops at the Alien Boss, at which time you must answer math questions as quickly as possible in a multiple choice-like style. With each correct answer, you shoot the robot, eventually defeating him, and can continue on to the next level. But it’s not so easy. The answers are all wiggling around, so it’s a bit of a challenge to pin it down. Before you can pass a level, you must come head-to-head with the Alien Boss a couple of times in a row. And then you must actually dodge his bullets. The subsequent levels feature different tunnels and robots, and you can even unlock different and more powerful weapons.
I love that you get instant stats (math skill accuracy) at each interval. And my son’s favorite part is, of course, shooting at the robots and all the sound effects that go with it. Unlike most arcade games, the ammo never runs out and the continuous shooting does not count against you.
Because my son is a bit younger at 4 years of age (with smaller hands and not very strong arm muscles), it was a bit difficult for him to hold the (heavy) iPad up for prolonged periods. It was also difficult for him to reach his thumbs to blast the robots – the buttons are conveniently located at the bottom corners of the screen, which are perfect for an older child or adult. So I would recommend it for a child with slightly bigger hands than my 4 year old’s, or perhaps for those that are younger the app would work best on an iPhone, which is much more manageable for his age and size.
Though the iPad was heavier for my son to use, the HyperBlast app is much easier for him than its sister version online. On MathBlaster.com, he has to worry about using more keys (arrows, spacebar, etc.) to steer and blast and using the mouse to choose correct answer. Talk about multi-tasking for a 4 year old! Still, MathBlaster.com has a lot more to offer than just HyperBlast (more games and a whole virtual world where you can fight train and even raise your own pet) – but that’s in another review.
If you have more than one child/player, you can easily create profiles for each (up to 6) and save scores. And if you register (optional), you can sync up to your online MathBlaster.com account and transfer your earned points on to that account.
Since the birth of our third child, we have very busy and have heavily relied on our computer for the majority of his learning, so I have been very thankful to have such awesome games such as MathBlaster.com. Plus our son is getting much more skillful at using the computer, which is a skill that unfortunately is in higher (and necessary) demand these days. Now that we own an iPad, we can take his learning on-the-go, so it never has to stop. From the longer road trips to the simple doctor office visits, you can fill those lazy summer days with learning. It’s not all math and it’s not all shooting, so HyperBlast 2 HD offers a good balance of both fun and learning, pleasing both parent and child. In other words, kids can brush up on math skills without even feeling like they are doing school!
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