A mammoth wearing silly hats? A giant volcano that looks like a cat? You might not even notice you’re practicing your math skills. Slice Fractions, a new mobile game by Ululab, stars a small mammoth wandering through a prehistoric world. The player must clear the mammoth’s path by dropping chunks of ice onto smoldering piles of lava. Drop too much ice, and you’re obstructed by your excess. Drop too little, and the lava continues to block your path. It’s a pretty straightforward game with nice, clean artwork and satisfying mechanics, which are important elements for mobile apps. Slice Fractions manages to provide enough variance from level to level that I was definitely disappointed when I ran out of puzzles to solve.
The actual numbers don’t come into play for a little while, but the analytic thinking is present early on. As you play, you’re asked to perform tasks such as matching, counting, subtracting, and dividing. Because it’s all visual and hands-on, the game doesn’t feel anything like homework. When the numbers do begin to appear in the puzzles, it feels quite natural.
Slice Fraction’s puzzles are based on the Common Core State Standards grades 2 – 4, and are meant to teach skills such as recognizing different shapes with equal sizes and comparing fractions with different numerators and denominators. But kids of all ages can have fun cutting up ice and popping bubbles.
Slice Fractions teaches fractions in a subtle and fun way, and it does a good job of getting to the root of mathematical concepts without ever feeling preachy or stale. I would recommend it to any kid who is having trouble grasping mathematical concepts, and I look forward to the release of more levels. Slice Fractions is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play. It is the first game by Montréal game company Ululab Inc.
This reviewer played Slice Fractions on iOS using an iPhone 4S.