Today I have a review of a math facts app from the App Store called Octoplus. It costs only $.99 and really includes a lot.
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The first thing you see after opening the Octoplus app for the first time is a place to enter the child’s name. Then there is the home screen that gives you the options of “switch accessible”, drill, challenge, and options. Under drill you see three skill levels: beginner, advanced, expert. With challenge mode, you also have the three skill level choices of beginner, advanced, and expert. It also says Ink Mode that you can check or not. (If you choose it, then your octopus will spray ink when you press on it.)
On the options screen, you’ll see Settings, OctoStore, Math Score, Parent Zone, and Back. Under Settings there are these things to change: Player Name, Turtle Speed, Octopus Speed, All Turtle Shoot, Sound Effects, Music, Voice, Drill Background, and Scan Mode.
In the OctoStore there are things to buy with certain amounts of points (150, 300, 350, 450, and 500). The Math Score page lists 10 levels, with the number of correct and incorrect, and the number of plays.
When I clicked Parent Zone, it said “Please swipe down with two fingers to continue,” which is a nice feature to keep younger kids from messing with those items. Then another screen gave some parent pages: About, Progress, Rate Us, Join Us, and Back. On Progress you can press the level number for progress details. On Join Us, you can sign up for their app updates with email.
It works on both my iPhone and iPad. I had 4 of my kids try it out (ages 4, 6, 8, and 10). They all really liked it and continued asking to play it all week. You can switch the kids’s name who’s playing so that it keeps their individual score for getting things from the store.
On Drill mode, it’s best to have the voice on, but you can easily turn off sound effects and music. A cute little girl’s voice will say the equation over and over while the student is shooting ink from an octopus to the swimming turtles. You can choose which number (1-10) to have the equation add up to. For example, if you choose 10, you’ll hear “one plus nine, five plus five, three plus seven, etc.”
For the Challenge mode, I prefer to have the voice turned off. The student sees an equation at the top of the screen and then presses on the octopus when it’s next to the correct answer.
My 8-year-old son said he enjoyed playing it more than other math drill apps we have. The games of inking the turtles are fun for them. They like that they can buy stars and gumdrops in the store.
The only thing I don’t like about Octoplus is that there isn’t a whole lot of true learning going on. It’s mostly a game to ink the turtles. But, any exposure in practicing math facts helps them get better at it. And the game is so fun that they want to keep playing it! I will keep Octoplus in our Math folder on our devices so that they can continue to use it to practice math.
(Disclosure: I received a free download and monetary compensation in exchange for reviewing this app . This post also contains affiliate links.)