Friday, February 25, 2011

Math Rider New TOS Review


MathRider is a downloadable program which works
on Windows, Mac, and Linux Operating Systems
Upon purchase you will receive download instructions and
a key code to make it work.

Sale Price $37

For All Ages who need to learn math facts and improve their speed

I think one frustration many children face in math is learning basic operation facts and be able to recall them quickly. A quick search online or look around a school supply retailer seems to confirm this as it is likely to turn up many resources to help children in this pursuit. But a parent is likely to find that not every one will work for every child. One resource that may help is Math Rider, a computer game which can be purchased online and downloaded instantly.

MathRider blends fact practice for all 4 math operations with a story in which the player helps to rescue a kidnapped princess in a land of fantasy and quests. The story is started at the beginning of the program and is continued upon successful completion of each operation. The story is told with simple pictures while the words on the screen are read aloud. This story is reminiscent of a fairy tale.

Ride Screen
Ride Screen

While MathRider helps users become proficient and speedy using math facts in all four operations, only one operation is played at a time. To play the user assists an animated horse and rider to jump hurdles by answering math problems quickly and correctly. The rides are part of a longer quest to rescue the princess. Each ride features 30 facts and hurdles. The hurdles are jumped by correctly answering facts. At the end of each ride the player is given points based on the number of correct answers and length of time taken to complete the ride. The number of points a player accumulates during a ride determines their progress on their ride through the math lands. Along the way the player acquires various rewards and incentives which are displayed on their beginning screen.

Map showing Quest progress

At the end of each ride a simple bar graph appears on the bottom of the screen with a bar for each fact in the ride. These bars are green, yellow, or red based upon correct answer and length of time taken to answer the question. Upon rolling the mouse over the bar the fact is shown as well as the exact amount of time used is displayed.

The program employs Artificial Intelligence to assess where the user is and target the facts that need the most work. These facts are consistently repeated throughout play.

MathRider has a separate quest for each operation and requires attainment of a certain proficiency/ accuracy level before moving on to a new operation. However, just math knowledge is practiced, not the ability to control a figure or time a move just right.

Statistics Page
There is also a simple to understand statistics page for the player. This page features a grid of all the facts for the operation and color codes the individual cubes based on mastery of the fact using red, yellow, and green. On the right side of the page is a box indicating those facts which were not answered correctly as often or as quickly.


I had both my 6 year old son and 9 year old daughter use MathRider, but my 6 year old enjoyed it much more.  I was very surprised about this, because even though he loves just about everything the computer, my daughter is very interested in horses and riding. She also likes princess, etc. I thought the story line would draw her in and keep her interest, but unfortunately that did not occur. One of the reasons for her lack of interest maybe that she hasn't spent as much time on the computer and therefore is not as quick as he is when it comes to entering answers.

I also played through the Advanced Addition quest just to get a feel for it myself. Before I had accumulated enough quest points I was becoming frustrated as my fingers were tripping over themselves. I was trying to be speedy, but in the process was losing accuracy. I attained a 97% mastery level, but I am not sure if I completed the level or if I must redo it in order to move on.

I found several aspects of MathRider to be confusing.  After playing I feel speed is an important aspect of playing, contrary to the belief that skills other than math are not required or tested.  I also found it very difficult to remember how to earn a specific reward and could not find the answer to that easily.

After both using and watching Math Rider I think this would be a great product to help increase speed in fact usage, but not as great for learning facts initially. It seems to me that goal is fairly difficult to reach using Math Rider.

Read what other TOS Crew Members had to say here.

Disclaimer: I was given a free down load to use for the length of the review period in order to write this review.  I have not been compensated in any other manner.  All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

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