Episode 1-In Search of Spot
Source: Davidson & Associates, Inc.
Playing Time: There was no specific time
but it is required that children do not play the games for no longer than
20 minutes at a time.
Cost: $ http:
Number of Players: 1 player
at a time . Players sign-in at the beginning of the game.
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: CD-Rom
dor windows and CD-Rom for Macintosh (seperatly)
Subject Area: Math for
ages 6 to 12
Objectives: This game is designed for
children to get acquainted with patterns, addition, subtraction, estimation,
multiplication, division, fractions, decimals and percents. The game's
intent is to challenge the player, but not discourage.
Brief Description: The evil Trash Alien
has captured Blasternaut's pal Spot and brought him to a faraway planet
and left the universe covered with garbage. The players have to go
through four activities which help in inhansing mental math and problem
solving skills. Blasternaut is on a mission to find Spot and will
do any type of math problem needed to rescue his friend.
Entry Capabilities Required: You can begin
at any level you would like. The player signs themselves in and then
chooses the level at which he/she feels comfortable at. Level 1 is
addition through level 6 which is fractions, decimals and percents.
Students must know how to add (at least) prior to playing this game.
Rating: (1-5) : I rate this
game a 4 because of the setting up procedures. You have to install
the program, you can't just put it in and play it which I feel could be
a problem for younger children.
Relevance to objectives: The game is very
relevant to the objectives. Through playing this game, children do
get acquainted with patterns as well as the other areas of math it intails.
See "Effectiveness of debriefing"
Provides practice of relevant skills:
Throughout all of the games (4), the math "lessons" are repeated over and
over to reinforce what was taught so-to-speak. When you get two incorrect
answers, a Math tip will automatically appear. However, if you need
a Math Tip at the very beginning, you can go to the menu at any time.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: This
game, I believe would definitly maintain interest because of the special
effects and the fact that it deals with space and a rescue mission.
The games also encourage kids to at least try and then aids them if they
have difficulty before they get too frustrated.
Likely to be comprehended clearly: Everything
in this game is self explainatory. If at any point the player has
a question about the expectations, the help option is available.
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
The game is very educational and worth the time of going through it.
The graphic were nice, much action was going on between rockets, spaceships,
aliens, etc. always popping up here and there. The soun effects were
preety neat also.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): There is no chance really of
a winner because there is only one player trying to find a character.
If the player is good in math, then Spot will be found within a half
It really depends on level.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): This game
is like a cartoon. It's not a realistic type game nor is the situation
realistic, but it is fun to play because it is colorful.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
There was no written proof of effectiveness; however, the fifth grade teacher
I borrowed this game from highly recommended it. She said that since
her students have used Math Blaster, their math grades have improved.
Clear directions for play: It's an easy,
self explainatory game, directions are easy to follow and comprehend.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
Students are able to keep a record of who played when and how they did
so others can compare and they can see their results.
You are unable to just pop in the CD-Rom and begin
playing. An adult (or someone who really knows computers) needs to
install Math Blaster, which is kind of a turn-off.
Reviewer: Michele Dabiew
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh
PowerPC 6500/250, 32mb ram.