Guilty, I’ve been caught red-handed and red-eyed - from engaging in play with Artgig App's newest, Jump! A Game of Numbers. Another great math app for practicing Math Facts, you may say? No, no, this is NOT merely an app that aids in the retention of basic math facts or sought out for the pure pleasure of playing with numbers; it is about saving a species. The background story is that our friends, the Snortles, have been blown from their volcano home, and are now floating in the ocean. They need help in finding a new home, and it is up to you trusty hero types to “Use Math as a Path” to rescue them. They sure are cute little critters, but without some help, they may not be saved. There are 6 regions, where the refugees are welcomed, and up to 24 Snortles can resettle in each of these new communities. From the island paradise of Summer Sea to a place called Lava Lake, players move the Snortles sequentially to their new homes. Counting in multiples between 1 and 12, players jump from one numbered space to the next, but BEWARE; there are many obstacles to overcome in the rescue operations. Numbers can be manipulated, by adding both positive and negative numbers to achieve the needed number in a sequence. For example, if counting by two’s, there may not be a four space readily available to hop on as the next step, but there is probably a combo nearby of 1+3, 2+2, or even 1+1+2! It gets really cool when the next possible jump is a spinning wheel of possibilities – and that means synching body and mind in addition to adding dimension to spatial constructs. Artgig has added obstacles to the mix…fuses and Stompers to make the journey more challenging. If a fuse or a fierce Snortle scaring Stomper catches you, it curtains for your current saved critters in that particular level, and you can proceed and save the remaining ones or replay the level. These challenges can also be easily turned off under options along with the music and sound effects for kids that become easily stressed with too much input. Thoughtful touches such as these make Artgig a brand you can count on to not only make learning fun but accessible for kids of all abilities. I was able to play with one very kinetic 4 y/o with very little help or assistance in the early level. Beach balls and sound equipment are awarded to play with the Snortles in their new homes after completing all the levels in a locale. It sounds simple enough, but repeated play is necessary to strategize the right moves to find all three Snortles for rescuing in a level and to earn its coveted 3-star rating. Sometimes one may make it ashore with all 3 Snortles, and there are times when none has made the treacherous journey. Luckily, after completing a level, kids can go back and replay a level without losing status. The game also adjusts to a child's level of competency, keeping the level of difficulty perfectly in line with the player. This app is heavy on refining strategies and problem-solving skills. I love it that kids are allowed to go back and try something new. It is not merely drilling math facts, integration is ensured through play and lateral thinking. You see it’s all about saving the Snortles, and the play brings automaticity in learning. It’s nice too, that you can use this game as a warm up by playing a few levels or just going at it for the fun of it. It would be fun to play on an iPad Pro with a partner. As all of Artgig’s apps, Jump! A Game of Numbers is Highly Recommended and earns a TWA Top Pick. Jo Booth OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 35 years, and currently practices at EasterSeals of SEPA, Montgomery County Division mainly focusing on Early Intervention. It is an APS (Approved Private School) and home outreach based setting. She has also worked in Adolescent and Adult Rehabilitation. Writing reviews for Teachers With Apps have been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others.
Written by Jo Booth
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.