Move quickly! Artgig Studio’s Mystery Math Museum is free from August 20-22 for iPad.

Mystery Math Museum is the winner of the 2014 Parents’ Choice Award, as well as the Editor’s Choice Award for the Children’s Technology Review.

The goal of the game is to rescue a bunch of dragonflies from jars in a series of museums. You have to explore each museum to find all the dragonflies. Every door you open requires solving a math problem.

At the beginning of the game, you can set which skills you want to practice. The game covers addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division—with two degrees of difficulty for each skill.

Mystery Math Museum Skills

As you go through the museums, you collect numbers that sit in a tray at the bottom of the screen. At each door, you’re presented with the solution to a math problem and which function it is (division, addition, etc.). It’s up to you to fill in what numbers are needed to reach the solution. The tray holds up to eight numbers at a time, so sometimes you might need to backtrack and find numbers you left behind to get through a new door. It’s actually pretty challenging to keep track of the numbers and remember where you left ones you might need.

Each museum is has a theme. Wild West and Vehicles are the first two. This doesn’t really bear on the gameplay, but you can touch the items lying around the museums and hear sound effects.

Mystery Math Museum Numbers

Numbers float around the museums, waiting for you to nab them.

I like the exploration aspect of the game. Each building is pretty complicated, with lots of doors, windows, and stairs to go through.

Mystery Math Museum is made by Artgig Studio. Artgig makes a number (ha!) of other educational apps, including Mystery Word Town (which recently won a Gold Award from the Parents’ Choice Foundation) and Mystery Math Town. Mystery Math Museum costs $2.99 (when it’s not free!) and it’s well worth a download.

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.