As a child my obsession with dinosaurs was most likely unhealthy. I couldn’t read, but could recite from memory the words written in a handful of dinosaur books my parents read to me every night before bed. Kids are sponges of knowledge, and games like Lola’s Math Train help the youngest of children absorb simple mathematics and shape recognition with the shiny toys they’ve become attached to.
Lola’s Math Train (LMT), developed by BeiZ, has a simple goal, entertain while educating. The game challenges young players to progress through a series of puzzles and problems while being as accurate as possible in order to help Lola and her friends get to a party on time. At the end of each level a score is given based on the percentage of right answers (As you can see I’m a verified ace when it comes to basic math) and Lola chooses another friend to ride the math train with her.
LMT features three different levels of difficulty: easy, medium, and hard. On easy the questions and tasks involve identifying numbers, basic puzzles involving shape pieces, ordering groups of objects from largest to smallest, and which object is not a number.
On medium the puzzles continue, but the shapes in the puzzles start getting labels like “pentagon”, counting challenges begin, and the fill in the shape puzzles involve larger numbers. Also, timed exercises start, asking the young player to identify the largest number by tapping it as many times as they can in an allotted time. Addition and subtraction also become prominent.
The hardest difficulty features almost solely addition and subtraction problems as well as numerous timed games, and more difficult puzzles like completing the pattern puzzles.
LMT is bright, responsive, and stable. The directions are clear, the interface simple, and most of all it manages to entertain and teach at the same time. Lola’s Math Train at $2 (universal app) is a must for parents with children obsessed with their iPads, and those who want to help their children during the most formative years. And it might keep the youngins occupied just long enough to relax, granted you trust your child to be unsupervised with a $500 piece of technology.