Who hasn't ever wanted to be in a band, touring the country, playing cities all over and making videos that make them famous? Well, players can get a taste of that experience, as well as learn math that most people use, in Math for the Real World. Here, players must shepherd their band through the cities to various tour dates.
Between each city, players must help the band members when they run into math-related problems. These can run a wide gamut from dialing a number and entering the proper change into the telephone, making change for a band member's purchases, coloring T-shirts to fit a set pattern, figuring out patterns, deducing prices, fractions and more.
Players must also keep their food and gas meters filled. Along their travels, players will see signs for gas and food and by clicking on one will be taken to a separate screen for each.
To get gas, players will have to use the pieces to travel to each of the traffic lights and then to the gas station. They must also use all the pieces and not omit any of the traffic lights. For some reason, I was never able to get gas during this particular activity and I kept running out of gas and having to be towed (a $300 fee).
At the diner, players must fill trays with food having prices equal to those on the chair. At each stop, the food has a different price and some of the dishes are different. Players must use all the food and fill each tray to its correct price. Generally, starting with the lowest price and working your way up seems to be the best way to solve this problem.
When the band finally gets to a new city, players will be asked to perform various activities. For example, they will be required to either play drums, hitting beats with the space bar or control key (or both at once), or drive the band's van to the tour dates around town while avoiding the media and fans. In this last activity, the map "wraps around" so driving off one edge of the map makes you appear at the other edge, near where you drove off.
After those activities have been completed, the band's agent congratulates them and lets them either go to the studio to construct another scene or two for their video (if they have at least $2500 in their bank account) or sets them out touring again on the road. In the studio, players choose backgrounds and foreground for their video from a list and can then preview the scenes in motion. There are many choices on each list, so the possible number of scenes kids can make is nearly endless.
Finally, in the last city, players are allowed to see their full video, incorporating all the scenes they've made, and can sit back to enjoy their well-earned success and receive a recording contract. They also have a chance to play another game.
This is an excellent game for kids to teach them how money works and the kinds of math ordinary people use every day. Though not all kids will need to apply all of these problems in their lifetime, most of them are related to general activities such making change.
Graphics: Cartoon-like but the video-making part is superb.
Sound: Loud and easy to understand. Players have a choice of ten different songs for their band.
Enjoyment: Very enjoyable and lots of fun.
Replay Value: Players can choose different songs, different numbers of cities and different band names, among others. Replay is endless.
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