Thursday, July 11, 2013

Shhhh...Mums the word on this new app!

I'm not normally one who will spend $10 on an app. Ice cream? Sure. A fourth pair of sunglasses for me to lose in approximately 24 hours? You bet. But an app...I'm way too cheap for that. But then I heard about Dragon Box and I changed my tune. I don't even remember where I heard about it actually. But it claims to "secretly teach Algebra to your children." What?!?

I bought it last night on an "I'm still awake after midnight so might as well spend some money" whim and stayed up until almost 2am playing it myself.

In a nutshell, there are VERY minimal directions - it is all on the job training, so to speak. it shows you how to do something and then you do it and keep building on that. It starts with cute little characters that you have to get away from that box so the dragon will come out from hiding in it. He won't come out unless everything else is on the other side of the screen from him. See him hiding in that red box on the left? Poor thing is scared and needs those birds (?) and insects (?) away from him. Help! Help!
Dragonbox2 screenshot

 As the game progresses, it starts switching the little pictures to letters and numbers, but the same things make them disappear. A "negatice" snake will cancel out a normal snake, just like a negative "F" will cancel out a positive "f"...and the dragon in the box becomes an "X" and are now solving for x, but think you are saving a dragon. Crazy, huh?

Dragonbox2 screenshot

Before you realize it, you are doing full blown math, but THINK you are still playing a game.

Dragonbox2 screenshot

So SNEAKY! I love it!! This morning, I threw down a "innocent" challenge. "I bet I can get further than you can."  Oh, it was on. Captain C was all over that, since anything I can do, he (thinks) he can do better.

Then BAM! About 30 minutes in, C said, "HEY! This is just like Algebra!" I acted all shocked (and offended) and casually asked what made him think that. And he totally busted me, using real math words, and I made him swear to not tell the other two. He didn't, but wasn't going to play anymore since he had been tricked into doing math, of all things.

So...then T wakes up and he started playing, and passed both me and C. (without suspecting any math learning was going on - phew!). That ticked C off so he started playing again and we are all back in the challenge. Yahoo. P is even playing...and getting it. They have done about 60 levels already!

I bought the 12+ one instead of the 5+ one and they can all do it. Amazing.BTW, I am not working for this company. I get nothing for saying this. This isn't an "official" review or anything. I was just so excited that I had to share this awesome concept!

Now I've gotta go do a few more levels. The little stinkers passed me while I was typing this up!

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