Full Disclosure: I was given a copy of the game for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. You can learn more about my disclosure policy here.
As some of you might recall from my post on this year’s IGDA demo night, I’d included an educational app for kids 3 – 6 in my “best of show” list. I was kicking myself for not being able to talk to the developers of the game, Ululab, at the demo night, it had impressed me so much. Luckily, Francois from Ululab saw the post and got in touch with me so that I could review the game. Yay internet!
Unlike most of the games I review on this site, Slice Fractions is an educational game made for kids. It mixes physics puzzles with math lessons, all dressed up with cute graphics and adorable sound effects. Seriously, the little noises the baby mammoth makes will melt your heart.
Now, I’m not a mom, but I know a lot of my readers are, and it can be tough to sift through the absolute mountain of toddler apps out there and know what is good and what is crap. Slice Fractions is the real deal. Ululabs actually works in conjunction with education experts to develop their apps and even makes a point of following the standard curriculum for math and science.
On top of that, the game is actually incredibly fun to play, even for me. This is due largely to the near masterful level design, introducing each element of the game in a way that would make progressive disclosure experts jizz rainbows.
Early levels focus on introducing the mechanics and core concepts of the game, while the math concepts are introduced slowly and deliberately. Once the player has mastered identifying fractions, comparing equivalent fractions and even subtracting fractions, the game then ups the ante by making the physics aspects more complicated and progressing from there.
The end of each major lessons is punctuated with a “badge” with some sort of name which is a little too literal for my tastes, and general progression is marked by the unlocking of different hats for your mammoth buddy to wear. The game also makes a point of giving you very clear hints if you fail a level a certain number of times, since the focus is on education, not challenging game play.
While we’re obviously not the target market for this game, Rick and I both had a great time playing and figuring out each lesson and I would heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a fun app for their kids that might just teach them a thing or two while they play.