Title: Math Blaster Mystery

Overall Rating:
**B**

Source: Davidson & Associates, Inc.

Playing Time: No set limit, playing time
is varied depending on player's skill level and attention span

Date: 1989

Cost: $ 49.95 http://sjuv
m.stjohns.edu/~lenbc/software/soft/m/softm017.html

Number of Players: 1

Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: Color
monitor; 80-column card; printer (optional)

Subject Area: Math

Objectives: Player must use mathematical
skills, reading, problem solving, and deductive reasoning to solve math
mysteries.

Brief Description: __Grade level: 5-8__,
Four games targeting different math skills. Each game is accessible at
four different levels to accommodate skill and ability levels. The
categories are "Follow the Steps", in which the player reads word problems
and identifies the problem solving steps in specific order; "Weigh the
Evidence", players use strategies to match a given weight ratio; "Decipher
the Code", solving math problems by choosing numbers and using the process
of elimination; and "Search for Clues" in which the player investigates
objects and uses the given math clues to find the mystery number.

Entry Capabilities Required: Basic math
and reading skills
**Rating: (1-5)**

Relevance to objectives: **(5)** Mysteries
are dependent upon the use of the specific skills stated in objectives

Provides practice of relevant skills:
**(5)**
Excellent practice for reasoning and problem solving, as well as basic
math and reading skills

Likely to arouse/maintain interest: **(4)**
Games are challenging and entertaining

Likely to be comprehended clearly:
**(5)**
Clear instructions, games and levels are easily accessible

Technical quality (durable, attractive):
**(3)** Somewhat simple graphics for the higher grade levels,

Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): **(3)** Some games rely on
the player solving the problem, in others the correct answer is provided
after only two attempts

Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): **(3)****
**Not very realistic or detailed

Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
results):
**(5)** Received awards and positive reviews
from several educational magazines

Clear directions for play: **(5)**
Very simple and straightforward directions

Effectiveness of debriefing: **(4)**
Students receive awards at the end of each game which may be printed, also
students are able to keep a record of their scores and progress

Strong Points:
Provides practice of a variety of math and problem solving skills, maintains
interest and uses creative ways to make math entertaining.

Weak Points: Games offer "hints" which
really were not much help, such as "look at the clues", this might lead
to frustration if a student is having difficulty solving a problem.

Reviewer: Kathy Reno

Position: Student

Date: 6/15/98

Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh
PowerPC 6500/250, 32mb ram.

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