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Sushi Monster app review

sushi monster menuBlobby, colorful monsters with insatiable appetites for sushi are the stars of entertaining — and challenging! — math-centric game-app Sushi Monster (Scholastic, 2012). Begin by selecting either Addition or Multiplication and a level (Addition has seven, Multiplication five). A gong sounds to move you on to the next screen and into the game.

A hungry monster with a number around its neck — the “target number” — is waiting in the center of two concentric circles. On the outer circle (it’s like a big, round table) are plates of sushi, each with its own number. The object is to select individual pieces of sushi whose numbers, when added or multiplied, equal the target number. The monster gobbles the selected sushi, then the next target number appears. Target numbers are previewed at the top of the screen, and each round has fourteen target numbers. As players select sushi-numbers, the “number sentence” they form also appears at the top, making it look more like a math problem — a helpful visual for people who might have trouble doing the math in their heads. (And some of these are really challenging! Especially in the Multiplication level.) You can skip target numbers and go back to them later, when there are fewer sushi choices, if you’re stumped. You’re also timed.

sushi monster addition

A loop of traditional-sounding Japanese music with a light techno beat plays in the background (the music and monster-gulping sound-effects can also be turned off). The sushi-and-monster elements have nothing much to do with anything, really; it’s all just very silly — and lots of fun, in a math-drill sort of a way.

Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 4.3 or later); free. Recommended for primary and intermediate users.

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She is a current member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee.

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