Math Blaster is one of the classics in the world of edutainment software, and rightfully so. While it does cater to a wide age range (6 to 12), there are six difficulty levels which give parents better accuracy in setting up the appropriate challenge for their kids. This software is also better than other comparable products because of the fact that it allows parents to customize math problems; of course, this means that parents must be a little more hands-on than they would if there was a pre-set curriculum targeted at each child's grade level, but that can be forgiven.
The continuity of the gameplay is important here too. Instead of the usual house-style set-up which so many developers employ, Math Blaster has a storyline which features Blasternaut's search for his missing companion Spot, who was captured by the evil Trash Alien. While some older kids and parents may scoff at the heavy-handedness of the message behind the story, I think it's a nice touch that a little environmentalism was thrown into a math program. As children progress through each of four levels, the problems become harder and harder, as does the actual gameplay. Younger children may be frustrated, though, by the dexterity needed to successfully navigate the Cave Runner section, since one must not only know the right answer but also guide Blasternaut through the right space to complete the problem. The same holds true for the final battle, although certainly kids on the upper end of the age spectrum will feel like they're playing a video game while they learn, which is the ultimate goal of any good edutainment program.
It's also possible to play the games individually rather than following the storyline, which is an option younger kids might like. The only drawback to the storyline approach is the fact that kids might not have much interest in returning to play again once they've conquered the last round. I wouldn't say that that's a major detriment to Math Blaster's replay value, but it's something to keep in mind.
Overall, this is an enjoyable piece of software which is well worth the money for any parent who wants to supplement their kids' education at home. I'd say that true curriculum-based products which are geared toward specific grade levels as opposed to broad age groups are better, but Math Blaster: In Search of Spot is a good buy if you're in the market for some edutainment.
Graphics: Pretty good. There are lots of little details in each screen which help give the game its unique feel.
Sound: Plenty of effects, music and voices here.
Enjoyment: Kids will enjoy this, especially because it follows a storyline.
Replay Value: The only drawback, though: Kids might not want to play again once they've conquered the game.
A follow-up to the original Math Blaster! games, Math Blaster: In Search of Spot is an educational title with arcade elements designed to help students learn maths while having fun.
The game allows students to practice basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills in addition to fractions, decimals, percents, estimation, and number patterns. The subjects can be practiced separately or together in review. Six levels of difficulty are provided. Like the previous titles, the game also includes an editor to create new problem sets (present in the PC version only).
Math Blaster's friend and assistant, Spot, is kidnapped by the evil Trash Alien at the beginning of the game. The Galactic Commander gives Math Blaster the mission to follow the Trash Alien to his home planet and rescue Spot.
People who downloaded Math Blaster: Episode 1 - In Search of Spot have also downloaded:
Math Blaster Episode 2: Secret of the Lost City, Pre-Algebra - Math Blaster Mystery: The Great Brain Robbery, Oregon Trail Deluxe, JumpStart Adventures: 3rd Grade - Mystery Mountain, Reading Blaster: Invasion of the Word Snatchers, JumpStart Adventures: 4th Grade - Haunted Island, JumpStart 2nd Grade, JumpStart Adventures: 5th Grade - Jo Hammet, Kid Detective
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