Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Math Missions: The Amazing Adventure Grades 3-5

Math Missions: The Amazing Adventure Grades 3-5

Fall 2003 Software
Ages: 9 - 12 yrs.
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Price: $19.95
Platform: Windows, Mac
This math arcade-inspired tour of Spectacle City pits players against a host of real-world math dilemmas that need to be solved to save this cartoon-graphics city from a bad case of urban blight.

Roaming the city, left-screen or right, players enter stores such as Incredible Bulk groceries, where orders need to be scanned and filled correctly (how many jars of mayo totals 20 pounds?) and MegaBuytes, the electronics store, where managers need help reading charts and graphs. Go to the subway and figure the correct stops based on math problems. Catch the bus and make change. Get off the bus at the waterfront market, where seafood needs to be weighed and fruit and vegetables measured.

As players work their way through the city using their math know-how, they earn money. Once they've earned enough, they get to own the city's game arcade. As a reward, they play the arcade games and make business decisions--from buying ads to tracking profits. Running the arcade is yet another educational bonus in this solid and compelling math game that tends to roam virtually as well as in its math curriculum, from simple addition and subtraction to geometry, graphs and concepts.

Players can set the difficulty level and change it in mid-game. Throughout there are fun diversions, from riding treasure hunts to the math magician. Lots of educational content blends seamlessly with cartoonish gaming--a good balance for youngsters who need to learn that math just might have everyday applications.

Don Oldenburg   ©2003 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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