Squirreled® World View website Apple iTunes

A fun and challenging game to improve the math skills of kids of all ages

Developer description

Squirreled® World is a fun, open world style arcade game with math table exercise "built in" to ... More

Editor's review

Published 26 Jun 2018

 

There is plenty of evidence out there to suggest that the numerical concepts that kids acquire in early childhood lay the foundation for learning mathematical concepts later on in life. You will hear plenty of comments from baby boomer parents, for example, that learning their 'times tables' while at school has served them well to the point that they still remember them now - many years on. Personally speaking, one of the great math lessons in my life was playing the noble game of darts where players must keep track of their score as they count down from 301 or 501. The mistake that many make is to think of math as a chore - especially as we live in the calculator generation. The fact is, it can also be a lot of fun as well as an essential tool to keep in your mental pocket. If you need any more convincing just ask a Sudoku player.

It's refreshing when a developer brings out a game that helps kids grasp the concept of math while also managing to make it enjoyable. Squirreled World is the third version of this iOS arcade-style game developed by experienced educational game designer Andrew Chew. It all began with Squirreled Division back in 2013 and, due to the extremely positive reception it received, was followed up three years later with a second version - Squirreled. This new version takes things to another level by creating an open world-style game that encourages kids from 4 upwards to test their divisional math skills and their 'memory muscle' while playing an engaging and colorful game featuring cute animals. It has built-in math table exercises, runs on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV (iOS 10.1 or later) and is compatible with MFi (made for iPhone) game controllers. 

So how do you play the game then? Well, the object is quite simply. The aim is to collect as many acorns as possible - as squirrels do - and to go for the gold trophy. The only trouble is, you'll have to outwit kids, gophers, cats and badgers while dodging cars and lawnmowers and negotiating backyard mazes - so it's not going to be easy. You'll have to use some good old-fashioned strategy to be successful. For a start, you'll get to explore the neighborhood in both daylight and darkness because some animals only come out at night. In fact, you'll need night vision goggles to keep out of the way of the feisty badgers. Added to this, there'll be kids throwing acorns at you and you'll have to avoid them to stay alive. However, you will be able to ambush those pesky cats by tossing your acorns at them to keep them quiet. To help you along, you can pick up random power ups along the way. These will do everything from speeding you up to slowing time down, freezing the action, shrinking your nemesis and multiplying scores etc. 

There are eight levels of this game that will need to be negotiated and each will get a little harder. The math element comes in when you realise that each acorn has a number on it and each level has a certain number of acorns that need to be collected in order to progress. The first level, for example, requires you to collect numbers 1-5 so you'll need to find 5 acorns with the number one on them up to 5 of number five and so on. You'll have to watch out though - if you get caught you'll forfeit the lot. Parents or participants can select the specific level that they would like to concentrate on so that kids can improve their skills and achieve desired results. 

As you can see, Squirreled World is a simple but fun concept though it can be quite challenging to complete - especially with all the distractions around. The game itself is free but requires an in app purchase to progress past the first level and to choose specific levels and acorn numbers. However, it will cost you under a dollar if you do it right now. Experts suggest that learning math tables early on develops the mind and is essential in preparation for more complex and applied math skills later on in life. Squirreled World is a great game to bolster those skills and to prepare your kids for what will undoubtedly come up further down the track. Thankfully, it's also a heck of a lot of fun. The game is available now in the App Store.

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