Motion Math: Hungry Fish is a software that is developed for iOS devices such as iPhones, iPads, the New iPad, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch. It focuses on getting children excited to learn math in a whole new different way; by playing!
“Your fish is hungry – hungry for numbers! This fun addition and subtraction game for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch has instant addition: touch two numbers together to instantly add. Most addition games teach in the form 3 + 4 = __; Hungry Fish challenges players to find different ways to make a 7 (1+6, 2+5, 3+2+2, etc.). There’s 18 levels of challenge (for 4-year-olds to adults) and bonuses to customize your fish with new colors and fins. Play this wonderful game with your students, family, and friends” (Motion Math, 2012).
I’ve chosen to evaluate this software because I love finding new ways on how to learn simply just by playing! When I looked at this software on the iTunes page, I figured it could be a fun and exciting game to get children to learn math at such a young age. This software offered opportunities for practice and review. For instance, the child can practice as many times as he/she wants to by adding the numbers to match the one shown on this fish and then, by ‘feeding’ the fish in order to progress. It will allow the child to learn what number he/she will get when they combine two different numbers.
The child can review his/her own endeavour and review their points or levels that they achieve at the end of the game. I also enjoyed the graphics the software had to offer children. The 2D components consist of the words, title, the actual fish, and the various images given throughout the software. The 3D components consist of the corals, tube corals spitting out the bubbles, and the background images in the different levels. There are a lot of animations throughout the software such as the fins of the fish moving, the tube corals,
glowing bubbles, corals moving as they spit the bubbles out, the eye of the fish and fish move, fish growing as it gets fed, fish shrinks when it doesn’t, and the sunlight shining through the water (glowing and dimming). In addition to these components, the software also has practice for children including the tutorial phase, but also in the standard levels. Within the standard levels, as soon as you lose, you get a message that pops up, “Uh-oh. Your fish needed more food. You earned 0 points!” and under the sentences, there is a circle that is an arrow and once you hit it, you restart the level. No matter the amount of times you lose in a level, there is always this hypermedia that will allow the child to begin the level again.
Software Recommendations & Limitations
While playing the game, I’ve observed, experimented, and explored the game, and began writing down different recommendations to help improve the software; these recommendations are based from what I’ve seen and our personal experience with the software. Firstly, the graphics in the software are nice and vibrant, however, it could use more “real” colours or sea creatures. Such colours can be actual colour seen in the ocean to give the software a more “realistic” approach or life like sea urchins because the game doesn’t only focus on math, but your game also makes children learn about the environment in which fish live in. When it comes to the corals, you can provide some actual texture and pattern on
them rather than just having a flat solid colour. Secondly, the gameplay gets more exciting when children are able to gain a “reward” after they complete the level that is then used to customize their fish. Although they reach the reward when they complete the level, it’s limited to that one reward whereas maybe you could add a variety of different other rewards so that children can stay interested in the game because children will lose interest when seeing the same reward. Finally, the free version is very limited to what children can actually do with the game. Even though you’re a company and need to make money, you can provide the addition and subtraction levels in the free version or you could provide different “themes” or “levels” in the addition stage where we can choose which ocean “theme” we want to play in; by doing so you are enabling children to have multiple choices which then
gets them more interested in the game. There is also no voice audio for children to establish a relationship between the number and the way it is said. This would be great for those who are four and are newly exposed to numbers. For example if the child selects the bubble five the software could use audio and state “Five” so they can hear it. Lastly, another recommendation to improve this software would be to place the equation on the fish instead of the answer, for example 2 + 2= and the number four would float around in the bubble amongst other numbers. This could be a setting that children could set if they find it easier for them to find the correct answer which would encourage more children to take part in the game.
My classmates and I did this software evaluation together and we managed to do a ScreenCast about it as well.
With the evaluation on the software, my group and I contacted the developers from the software and we were excited to have gotten a reply back from them. Such a reply meant so much to us just knowing that they read our evaluation and responded back to us.
Notice: parts have been blurred out due to confidentiality purposes.
Motion Math (2012). Motion Math: Hungry Fish. Retrieved from http://motionmathgames.com/motion-math-hungry-fish/