Title: Troggle Trouble Math
Source: Muncher Math Series / Softkey
Multimedia / The Learning Company http://www.mecc.com/
Playing Time: Variable: individual rounds
as short as five minutes with total playing sessions ranging thirty minutes
and up. Program capable of returning player to a saved game.
Cost: $ 9.99
Number of Players: One
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: Macintosh
Computer equipped with CD rom, keyboard, mouse
Subject Area: Mathematics (Mathematical
Reasoning, Basic Four operations and Algorithms), appropriate for Elementary
Grades One to Six (level of difficulty adjustable)
Objectives: A student will: improve
mathematical reasoning skills; practice four basic operations (addition,
subtraction, multiplication, and division) in a variety of word problems;
develop proficiency with the basic four operations; use count on's, grouping,
and place value to understand the numeration system; construct number meanings
through the use of concrete examples; learn to appropriately use a calculator.
Brief Description: This program offers
a variety of fun, yet challenging mathematical games. The player
and an animated dog named, "Sparky, the Math Dog," explore an array of
calculable situations. Their goal is to solve the presented math
problem correctly before the imaginary group of characters known as "The
Troggles" eat all of Sparky's Bones. Calculating the correct response
allows the player to "troggulate" (wipe out) the pesky Troggles.
Entry Capabilities Required: Basic reading
skills and number recognition necessary, ability to type own name, as well
as being capable of using a mouse
Relevance to objectives: 5:
The mathematical games are geared specifically towards achieving
A simulated calculator becomes activated in appropriate situations.
The situation of helping a dog rescue his treats is meaningful to the player,
making the problems concrete, ultimately furthering their understanding
of numbers. The program is adjustable to appropriate math level,
grades one to six.
This software package includes a correlating teacher's manual and lesson
plans. There are a wide array of problems to solve with sixty varying
levels of difficulty.
Provides practice of relevant skills:
4: A variety of word problem's involving the four basic operations
are presented over and over to achieve proficiency in targeted concept.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest:
4: The game of wiping out the "Toggles" is a motivating factor (similar
to video games). The simulated calculator and telephone are appealing.
Likely to be comprehended clearly:
3: The activities are easy to follow once played a few
times. The troggles descend very quickly, which may be overwhelming
for the novice player. The space bar may be pressed if more time
needed to ponder solution. Help is always just a click away.
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
3: The graphics and music are fun. This computer was not powerful
to run all of the colors contained in the text. There
are no noticeable glitches in playing the program.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): 4: Successful
completion of activity depends upon the player's correct responses to math
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): 4: The graphics
are manipulable and function properly (the dog actually appears to be walking,
falls down when bumps into objects, the mouths of the animated characters
move when talking).
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
4: This program is a product of the Learning Company. It has
undergone extensive research and testing with input from educational
parents, and children. The software also comes with a MECC Learning
Guarantee, which states, if there is no noticeable improvement in math
skills after regular use for thirty days, there is a money back guarantee.
Clear directions for play: 3: Initial
directions could be clearer. An animated character is just a phone
call away if help is needed. A younger player may operate from a picture
Effectiveness of debriefing:
3: Positive reinforcement is provided throughout the entire program,
letting the student know immediately if their solution is correct or not.
There is a high scorer list for students who perform well. The
activity tends to end abruptly.
The problems become increasingly difficult, very quickly above grade
The theme of the game may be uninteresting to the older child capable of
answering the difficult questions.
Reviewer: Megan Narenkivicius
Position: MST graduate student
Date: March 24, 1999
Computer System Reviewed on: Power
Mac G3 233, 64 megabytes of RAM