Math Blaster is a massively multi-player online game (MMOG) that was launched in 2011 by Knowledge Adventure. This mathematics-based game is rated for players from age 6 to 12. The company also has another online game called Jump Start that is aimed at pre-school children. Parents who sign their children up for membership at Math Blaster get the Jump Start program for free. As with many other online games, children can play Math Blaster for free; however, universal access to all features requires a monthly $5 subscription. Players download the game’s application from the Math Blaster website and then access the game on secure servers. The game is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Although the Math Blaster MMOG was launched in 2011, the game is under a large corporate umbrella known as the Blaster Learning System. The Davidson Company created the Math Blaster educational software in 1989. Knowledge Adventure took over the line of software in 1999 and expanded the Math Blaster brand into a network cartoon series and now as an online game.
In Math Blaster, players initially board a space ship and are given a role as a Blaster Cadet. Players are able to customize their cadet using a Molecular Modulator that allows them to choose the avatar’s looks and species. Players advance in the game by tackling math questions – this allows them to earn merits and achievements. These merits allow players to climb the ranks of the Intergalactic Space Patrol. The game uses the foundation of good versus evil as its main theme. The players are the good guys who defend the universe from threats in space. Players make friends with other players and can chat with them using pre-selected and filtered language. Players can also design their home ‘pods’ and can have pets called ‘mutts’ who live in ‘mutt pods’. Players in Math Blaster are not limited to just one game – there are a multitude of math portals and exercises that players can choose from to advance in the virtual world
Math Blaster is a low-key action-oriented game that will appeal mainly to boys from age 7 to 12. The game will also appeal to those who need help with basic and advanced mathematics. The company is to be commended for not just appealing to boys. Many of the avatars that players choose from are female or have feminine characteristics. The graphics and design of the game are above average. There are no adult themes in the game. The appearance of the avatars is kept non-threatening and neutral with funky hair colors and space uniforms. There is no drinking, smoking, drug use, sex or offensive language.
Taking mathematics and integrating it with themes that will attract children is no easy task, but Knowledge Adventure has done a great job in making mathematics fun. This MMOG is one of the few that encourages children to learn practical skills. Math is a difficult subject for many people. By providing a tool to make learning it more enjoyable, Math Blaster is a step ahead of other MMOGs.
Although there is no blood or gore, parents should know that players use laser guns to ‘blast’ their opposition. However, all of the opponents that players encounter are non-living entities like asteroids, targets, UFOs and pictures of aliens. Younger players at the bottom end of the age range may be a bit disturbed at all of the blasting. The avatars the players have to choose from could be a bit more unique. They look a lot like most other avatars on the internet.
Since the history of Math Blaster lies in educational software, the company markets their previously produced products on the website. Parents may be put under an undue amount of pressure to purchase these items if their children become attached to the brand.
It is a good educational website for both young and older players who can advance in the game according to their math skills. The content is high and unique in educational components. Most likely, kids will learn something due to the plethora of games available to cater to all kinds of characteristics. At $4.99 per month, it’s money well spent.