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4.4 out of 5 stars14
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 2 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The short review:

PROS:
Maths questions presented in a fun and genuinely enjoyable game (my children
have wanted to play this EVERY day since we got it)
Allows children of ALL ages (from 5 upwards) to play together on a
level-playing field (I tested this with my 10, 6 and 4 year old playing
together - and it was fabulous to not know who was going to win).

CONS:
This product is not a teaching tool (though questions do give the answers and
children will, hopefully, learn from their mistakes)
This product does not test addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
(apart from little quick quiz squares) or algebra - you'll need to purchase
their "volcano panic" and/or "ultimate maths invaders" to cover these.

Now download a (limited) demo of this product from EdAlive's website and see for
yourself.

The long review:

As a maths teacher I have reviewed many games (and also purchased many for my
family) and I would rate this as one of the best I have tried (amongst
CLUEFINDERS and some of Sherston software's and BBC's titles).

Children can choose content by their age and level within that age or by
specific content (within "problem solving", "measure, shape & space" and
"handling data").

They can choose to use this product in one of two ways:

Questions only - they choose the number and the type (questions not attempted,
or ones they have answered correctly on 1st or on 2nd attempt or answered
incorrectly). Does what it says on the tin (or more accurately in the extensive
help file) - answer the questions. Good as a revision tool.

Game:
Here they can play against other players or against the computer on one of
eight boards (forest, castle, tournament or village and then the advanced
versions of each of these).

Each player answers questions suitable to their level (and hence different aged
children can play together). The computer player seems to get them right
randomly - but seems to do much better the better you do...

Players take it in turns to roll the die and move around the board. The game
ends after a specified number of turns or minutes (though games can be saved).

The idea is to compete to be the one who earns the sole right to fight the
dragon. This is decided on the number of courage points you have.

You get one courage point for each sword you have obtained (there is one sword
on the grid at any one time and players need to pass it and pay 80 strength to
get it - it then respawns elsewhere on the grid - so it becomes a race to try
and get it)

The player(s) with the highest strength get(s) one courage point (and strength
is earned by answering questions - more for correct on 1st attempt, less for
correct on 2nd attempt and strength is lost for getting it wrong after 2
attempts)

The player(s) with the highest percentage of questions right get(s) one courage
point.

The player(s) with the highest total die roll get(s) one courage point - so
this adds a little element of randomness into the mix.

At the end of the game the results are given and a cut-scene of a knight
fighting the dragon is shown (this is quite fun but is the same regardless of
who has won).

The questions involve text and clip art and require either drag-and-drop
actions, clicking or typing in the answer(s). So at the youngest age they may
need help with reading them.

They range from the very simple "click on the matching pair" to heavy duty
permutation and combinations.

As mentioned above this doesn't test all of the maths national curriculum
(ages 5-16); only problem solving (eg how many 15 seater minibuses are needed
to transport 50 people), measure, shape & space (eg perimeters, area, volume,
conversion of units, co-ordinates), data handling (eg pie charts, median, mean,
mode, probability).

On the basic board you also have the following twists:
Pink "quick quiz" squares - 5 very easy addition/subtraction questions timed -
with strength awarded according to accuracy and time taken
Grey "stocks" squares - if you land on this you can't escape until you've
correctly answered a question
Green "start" square - pass this to get bonus strength (just like "GO" on a
monopoly board)

The advanced boards also have:
Different coloured squares award different strength for questions (OK not that
great - but more tactics required)
Boost squares (gain all the strength lost by players)
Chance squares (gain/lose strength or move randomly around the board)
Random direction squares
Shops where you can buy (by spending strength) one of 10 gadgets which include
pony (adds 2 to each die roll), spinach (triples the strength reward from a
question) and villain (chance to steal strength, courage or gadgets off of
another player). But gadgets don't count towards the final courage tally so
tactical decisions need to be made...

Whilst there are limited questions at the very lover age range (about 30ish) I
have yet to exhaust the other levels.

The excellent parent options allow instant statistics to be displayed showing
questions correct 1st attempt, correct 2nd attempt and incorrect as well as
overall % correct. Clicking on any of them details the question concerned.

Little niggles and they are little: some of the clip art is a bit naff, when I
select content for my children to tackle they can choose to undo it when they
logon and when choosing the faces for the their counters there are only 2 girl
faces compared to 4 boys and 3 animals...

But overall an excellent educational tool which will bring much enjoyment to
your children and well worth the money compared to the other products out
there. Highly recommended
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What a very pleasant surprise this turned out to be. Based on experience of other "educational" software, I had low expectations, but it's genuinely enjoyable and achieves its aims. It proved to be fun and - wait for it - educational.

There are loads of levels, so it can be adapted to varying abilities. And there's plenty of variety, so it maintains interest. I have a maths degree but enjoyed using this software myself and found it quite challenging in places! Whether GSCE students would enjoy the gameplay is another matter. I feel it would work best with 5-12 year-ols.

The software doesn't actually teach and there is little arithmetic. It leaves children to learn as they go, mainly through Q&A, but does so very effectively. Children can use the software on their own or with others, and they don't even have to be of similar abilities - very clever.

This is probably the only so-called educational software I've tried that I would wholeheartedly recommend. If in doubt, try the demo version from the Edalive website. For the price, though, I don't think you'll be disappointed if you just go ahead and order.
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on 26 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This game is a fantastic way to boost your childs mathmatical skills. My 6 year old although is reaching his targets does seem to get very frustrated by maths.
Loaded this on to our pc and set it up and both my kids were desperate to try it out. The thought of fighting a dragon caught their imaginations straight away.
It is simple to set up, and i tailored the questions to my childrens individual needs. My 4 year old equally enjoys this game and i've set it on the lower age limit of five years old and with a little assistance she is managing to play along with her brother.
I have played along in a couple of games to, and i must admit that my maths is a little rusty and i am struggling with the 15+ level. End result, i couldn't win the game even if i wanted too!
I expect I shall be adding other titles from this range to our collection.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Got this for my seven year old son, who just can't get enthusiastic about maths and gets frightened by pages of sums. This has been a marvellous motivator for him, and I highly recommend it.

The best bit is that you can set it to the right level/ age/ ability for your child so they are not bamboozled by too-hard questions or bored by too easy ones. As you work round the 'board' gaining strength points, you encounter a variety of questions and some mini-quizzes (a timed 5-question maths quiz). Eventually (you can set the game time or the number of rounds) either the player or the computer wins the right to battle the dragon; you then see a short animated clip of the fight.

It takes a while to load onto your hard drive, but you don't then need the disc. Slightly irritating is the fact that once you are in the game you cannot alter volume settings etc so you have to remember to do this in advance.

My son (who has a Nintendo DS, but no other games consoles to date), is enthralled by this, enjoys the challenge, and although he knows it is there to be educational, STILL asks every day to be allowed onto Mummy's laptop to play it! A hit, therefore!
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VINE VOICEon 23 August 2010
I can heartily recommend this maths program. It is quite sophisticated to operate, so, to begin with a child would need to be shown round it by an adult. Having mastered the working of the games, however, it should be quite easy for a child to operate on their own. As an ex-primary teacher I like the links to the maths curriculum and the fact that content can be customised for revision. It is absolutely necessary that the adult in charge of this program familiarises themselves with it first or the full value of it will not be realised. The games are fun to play and questions answered incorrectly are given a second chance to get them right. There is also "thinking time" for the questions, so the player isn't working against a clock. Of course, the player/s can choose their own level of play which means that an unconfident child (or adult) can choose a low level and then build up confidence to go on to more challenging levels. Players in the games can play one-against-the computer or with a friend/parent. On the whole, a thoroughly enjoyable program which I will enjoy presenting to my granddaughter and enjoyed playing myself.
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VINE VOICEon 4 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I chose this game as I thought my son could do with a little help with his maths to get him ahead a little and boost his confidence. I was initially a little skeptical wether a PC game would help and wether that my son would enjoy this, he's used to ocassional bouts of bowls on the Wii and suchlike. I sat with him as the game started and explained the options to him. As a previous reviewer mentions it may be an idea to sit with a younger child for the first few times (as it was I only really needed to sit with him for one game).
My son is 7 years old so he put his details in, chose his player icon ... a red car in his case, and off we go. It is very much like a board game the player rolls the dice which then moves their piece the appropriate number of places (or circles) and then you get a single maths question - sounds dull, well it isn't, the questions are presented in an interesting and fun manner and for every correct answer you get a number of points. On certain circles you may actually get a set of questions which run against a clock, if you answer the questions in the alloted time you get extra points. Ah...points, well you need these to claim swords of courage and defeat your opponent (the computer) and the dragon.

Just a quick note - one nice aspect to the game is that you can set each individual game by either the number of dice rolls or by a time limit.

It was near his bedtime when he first played and so he only had time for one game. As I said I sat with him during that game, I was unsure wether or not he enjoyed it.
The first thing the next morning though after breakfast he asked if he could play it again.
This time I left him to it, he played the same course again known as "The Forest", this time there came from the PC "oooohs" and "aaahhhs" and shouts of joy as he got to the sword of courage before his opponent. So I came in clutching my bowl of cereal to watch - he was having great fun and completed the course again. He then opted for another course....he went to one called "The Tournament". This had lots of different features like a shop where he could use his collected points to buy potions that trebled his dice throws, or magic ropes that let him change places with his opponent so he could get nearer to highly prized sword of courage. Plus other types of places that give you extra points and the like.
The game was so engaging I found myself caught up in the game with him.

Now these are the words of my son I asked what he likes about it while he was playing.

"It's a fun game to play, and I like it because I get to roll the dice and things and you get to go in shops and play tricks on the other player"

I watched him play a further two games and was surprised at how quickly he got to grips with the questions.

He's played numerous times since over the last few days and I've watched from the sidelines and been amazed at how his confidence in answering the questions correctly and dealing with new questions/concepts has grown. For instance, he was using his fingers to count in various scenarios but now he uses them less and less each time and is working things out in his head more and on his hands less. It also surprised me in that there are things I didn't expect him to know that he already did....like venn diagrams, I haven't heard that since my own school days.

I myself looked at the game alone and was surprised at the different playing options, I tried the 15+ section (I'm not bad at maths...no genius but pretty good) and some of the questions are quite challenging. So it's kind of future proof, but having said that if I was at the age of 15 I'm not sure if the game would appeal to me. It seems concept wise geared to a younger audience, but that is just my opinion.

But overall I'd say a winner, we have only had this game a few days and I'm sure there are more hidden features in different games to discover.

This is one game I don't mind him playing for a little longer than usually allowed.
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I asked my 6.5 year old how she would rate this game out of 5 stars. At first she gave it 5 stars then she changed her mind to 100 stars. That's enough for me, but I'm sure you'd like more detail. Numbers Up Baggin the Dragon plays like a board game. You can play against the computer or a friend. Each player can then choose their piece and then they can change how the piece appears. For instance, my daughter chose a blonde girl, but you can choose boys or girls with different hair and skin color or animal heads such as a dog, cat, horse, etc. You can then chose which board you want to play on. There's a castle, forest, etc and then you can choose your age range and what level you start at. Age ranges are 5-6, 6-7 (there's an A and B option), etc and then within each age range you can then choose your level, so there's clearly a lot of game play for your child as well as room to grow and learn. Incidentally, you can also chose a set time limit to play for or a number of turns to play.

So how do you play? I have to say, my daughter is the expert and not me. Once I loaded it on her computer she was off and running. At no point did I have to explain anything to her or help her through confusing sections which tells me this game is very well designed and written rather well for a 6.5 year old to be able to do it herself without having to read long, boring unclear instructions. So I decided to watch her play for a bit and see if I can figure it out. Just like a board game you start by rolling the dice, then you make your move. When you land on a regular game space, you get a math question. Each time, the child gets a completely different type of math question. So they may get a questions about sequence, weights, addition and subtraction, etc. And of course the questions asked will depend on what age range and level you set at the beginning of the game. Some questions my daughter was asked were things such as: Put the heaviest object on the left through to the lightest on the right using a buffalo, tiger, large dog and a mouse; put the days of the week in order; looking at a set of playing cards, which card comes next in the sequence - 2 of spades, 4 of spades, 6 of spades, then what?; sometimes there are straight forward addition or subtraction questions which is done under a time limit so the child can see how many they can get right in 30 seconds. In the 6-7 range the questions were what is 6-0?, 3+4, etc. As you move around the board, you can also land on special tiles. If you land on a gray tile you go in the stocks. Here you have to answer a math question correctly in order to get out. If you answer it incorrectly, then you stay in the stocks until you get a correct answer.

The game ends when you have reached either the time you set at the beginning of the game or the number of turns you've chosen. If you were playing the castle board, your strength against the dragon is determined by your score and the your courage is determined by a random roll of the dice, but I suppose that won't change in any board setting, just the animation of the battle will change. But there is a nice long animation (maybe a minute or so) of the battle between you and the dragon. The animation is nicely done, but don't expect graphics to rival the newest x-box game or anything like that. Still, it is good quality and fun to watch. My daughter thought it was a very cool ending to the game.

I would definitely recommend this game to kids who don't particularly enjoy math because it certainly makes math fun and interesting. I would say it falls under the game category of not realizing you're learning which is always a plus in my book. But it would also be an excellent game for kids who love math because the questions get more and more challenging as they go along. Overall it's an excellent learning tool that kids will love. There are plenty of customizable options to make the game play fresh and new every time you play as well as plenty of levels and age ranges. As a parent, I don't think you'll be disappointed with this purchase and as a child, you'll be thrilled your parents bought this for you.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I wish I could give this product more praise as it looked very good and full of potential.

I played this with my 5 year old son. The first board game is excellent. It pits his wits against mine and I have to say, at the age of 39, that I found the questions asked of me very taxing indeed.

At the end of the first round, the computer crashed and froze. When I managed to reboot, the screen settings had changed and everything was much bigger. I am fairly computer savvy but could not work out what had gone wrong. I reset the screen settings and did it again and the same thing happened.

I have given this 4 stars as I am sure it is excellent and the idea is sound but I am a bit disappointed that this did not work. This seems not to have happened to any other reviewer so I will try on my laptop.

ADDENDUM :

27th OCTOBER 2011

Absolutely brilliant with Windows 7. Kids love it and would highly recommend it as a tool for kids to do some Maths practice and have fun too. DG
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on 16 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My son is 5 and has just started in year 1. I wanted to find a fun Maths game to help him improve his Maths skills and saw this and thought that I would try it. It was easy and quick to install and was simple to open. The first time I tried it with him to help him. There are lots of difficulty levels which means you can set it to as easy or as difficult as you think is suitable. Following the first game I then let him play it on his own... Guess what? He had fun and enjoyed it! A Maths game that will help develop his Maths skills and he can have fun at the same time. Once he mastered one level you can increase difficulty. I really recommend this product if you want to get your child practising Maths in a fun way. I will be looking at the other software that this company produces as this product is fantastic!
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VINE VOICEon 20 January 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We installed on a Mac, ran it and I sat with my daughter as she played it.

It simulates a board game and then sets numeric puzzles. My 7 year old keeps on wanting to play it.

What I would say is that the game design (given the graphics are the best) is actually really well thought out - it has genuine pedagogic value (for those of who know what this means) and for those of you who don't think like this - if you're looking for a game for your child, which is fun, entertaining and keeps them going and challenges them....well, this is it.
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