Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Timez Attack: Educational Computer Game Review by ChristineMM

My older son was not doing well with memorizing multiplication math facts. At first I didn’t care but as he doing his math curriculum (Math-U-See) and he was multiplying with three digits or more and relying on skip counting to get to the answer it was getting difficult to do the problems. He was working slowly, and was making silly errors with ‘carrying’ due to all the stopping to count, then losing his place.

I figured before he moves on to division he’d better improve his multiplication fact recall.

Previoulsly, we had tried flash cards, wrap-up’s, a Multiplication Bingo board game to no avail. This son of mine is the one who hates flash cards and finds memorizing things highly annoying. I am thrilled that he is learning so easily and quickly with this program.

I had read about the PC educational video game called Timez Attack by Big Brainz in The Old Schoolhouse magazine a number of months ago. Then I started reading on some homeschooling blogs how some kids loved the game.

So last month we tried the free downloadable version but it kept freezing up which was annoying and I worried that the paid version might be corrupt as well. A local homeschooling friend said they own the version that you pay for and it does not freeze. The two boys said they love the game, too.

So we splurged and bought the game. My kids (aged 10 and 7) love the game and both are learning their math facts (as the younger son plays too not for the main purpose of memorizing his multiplication facts but just for fun, yet in the process he is memorizing them). And for us it is true also that the paid version does not freeze up, it is working great.

After you pay you download the game immediately. You can pay an extra $5 to have a version snail mailed to you on a CD if you want.

What Goes On In The Game?
In the game the player (representing your child) that walks around looks to me to be a baby dinosaur but my sons think it is an ‘alien’. You pick up little aliens (or dinosaurs or something) that are like eggs and then you throw them at a door to begin the game. The eggs represent in one case, skip counting by five. Some of the opponents you must fight are fire-breathing dragons and robots.

The player walks and jumps around. At one point the 'enemies' have guns and shoot balls at the player. The player does not use guns. There is no killing or injury, they are just balls.

Unlike some other educational video games on the market there is no sassy or rude talking. (In a different program that we used to use, if the player makes a mistake with their math problem they are teased and called names by the game and sometimes the voice of a human child is sassy and uses a ‘bad tone of voice’ to goad the player.)

They practice certain math facts a few times in a row by inputting the answer to the operation using the number keys on the keyboard. If they make a mistake it then makes them repeat that one fact a bunch of times.

The paid version of the program also keeps track of each player’s practice and tells which math facts need more practice.

Maybe your family would this fun and useful?

Note: I receive no income from promoting this sofware program. I am sharing it with you in case it may be fun and helpful for your children.

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Ben said...

Great review--thanks! I hope you get a chance to try out the new Beta version because it irons out the kinks you found in the free version. I mention this because it's important to us that folks get just as solid an experience out of the free version as they do out of the full version. We really want everyone to be able to learn all the facts--regardless of budget or income. Thanks again!

Ben Harrison
Big Brainz

michaeledlavitch said...

Hi. I am a Middle School Math Teacher and I created a NCTM recognized free online math games site: