Android Learning App Review: Math Workout

Math Workout has been installed more than 5 million times till date (since it was launched in 2010) in the Google Play store. Sitting atop the ranking chart for Math learning apps, it boasts a series of game-like challenges (both at the individual and global competitive level) introduced to sharpen one's mental arithmetic skills, in turn making him/her become less dependent on the calculator.

This review is based on the free version of the app (v 1.8) maintained as of July 30 2014.

The newbie would typically head for the Addition/Subtraction and Multiplication/Division categories, where the number of questions per set and the level of difficulty must first be decided upon:

3,2,1 let the game begin

Depending on the level of difficulty chosen beforehand, you will encounter sums that are pretty manageable or those which require putting some brain cells to work:

You incur a time penalty for every mistake committed:

and obviously none if you do score a perfect homerun.Then again the aim is to make zero mistakes and finish the set of questions as quickly as you humanly can.

Time taken to answer 20 questions of "hard" difficulty in one breath. Flawless? Can definitely be improved upon.

Should you choose to move on to explore The Brain Cruncher, do note that you have to clear 3 low-pressure workouts to unlock the medium-pressure difficulty level, and then clear another 5 medium-pressure workouts to unlock the high-pressure difficulty level:

Prove you can handle the pressure, and you get to unlock the high-pressure difficulty questions.

In case you are wondering what The Brain Cruncher is all about, it randomly picks a number to start things off:

This number undergoes a series of timed arithmetic related operations (notice the countdown bar on each fresh screen):

Of course the whole process involves more than just 3 steps; the above are just sample illustrations of what to expect.

Go ahead and key in your answer at the end of it all.

A small triumph if you get the whole thing right.

A review of the whole process from start to finish

Once you have cultivated a greater level of endurance and much more experience, you could try the Math Blaster Challenge, where your aim is simply to score as many points as you can:

In space, no one can hear you scream. Or rather, no one can help you solve. Give the correct answer and a "laser" will destroy the charging bubble.

Jack be quick, because more bubbles will rain on you ever more so furiously.

Level up, and .....

Earn more lives (for every fresh 75 points gained)

Too bad, game over. Better luck next time.

We are ranked 6th for the day? Quite an achievement for a noob yes?

If you think you are ready for the big league, enter the Online World Challenge:

Online World Challenge countdown-be prepared to answer 50 questions with as little mistakes made in the shortest time possible.

A sample question.

Another sample question.

Yet another sample question.

Results for the first ever attempt.

After a few tries, things get better.

What We Like

This app generally accomplishes what it sets out to do, making an otherwise boring mental training session fun and sufficiently intense. It is adequately layered in terms of difficulty, and is never stingy with encouraging words of advice for the player seeking affirmation of ability. It does the little things right too, such as allowing multiple users to game on the same device and accumulate achievements separate from the rest and having a mini multiplications table quiz (which can be drawn up from the bottom of the screen) to do some light warming up on the side. For a free app it sure is one mean package.

Multiple player configuration? Nice.

What We Don't Like

Advertisements pop up like there's no tomorrow during various parts of the Math Blaster Challenge thus interrupting gameplay significantly, which is rather irritating to say the least. One or two instances is fine given this is the free version being used, but once every 15 seconds is really an eyesore, not to mention grating on the nerves.

Would you pay a fee to rid yourself of the agony of being spammed?

In addition, do take note the app does not perform optimally on smaller screen devices. For example, the display canvas for the Math Blaster Challenge might be partially cropped and you may miss viewing questions which float rapidly down the side altogether.

On occasion, the app's question randomizing algorithm does not seem to perform properly, and you may encounter extremely easy questions for challenges which you have chosen to play at a high order of difficulty.

Can someone please explain how is this even difficult?

Score: 7.5/10

Reviewed by Domain of Singapore Tutoring Experts on 30 July 2014

(The app can also be downloaded from the iTunes store for iPhone users.)