I’ve looked at a lot of alphabet and reading apps in my Ana’s Apps column. A couple of those were made by a company called Originator. Originator is known for their “Endless” series of games. The Endless games are some of the most expensive kids apps you’ll find out there, but they’re also some of the best. You can download many of the apps for free, but in order to to play with more than six or seven words you must purchase extra words to fill out the game. But the price is justified in my opinion because these apps are just as good as teaching children as a physical interactive toy would be. They feature great voice overs, cute characters, and fun little animations. The same can’t be said for most toys.
Originator has won my heart for word and reading apps, but now they’ve delved into math with Endless Numbers. Many apps out there, such as the LumiKids apps, teach early math skills with sorting, shaping, and basic counting. Endless Numbers, however, is all about numerals and how they interact with each other, while teaching some basic addition and multiplication. Here’s what I found while playing the game with my daughter.
The game starts with a brief movie that shows the popular Endless monsters riding on a ferris wheel. As the camera pans over the ferris wheel cars, you see each monster given a number. Once you get to five, the animation is over. After the animation you can scroll through the ferris wheel to pick any number you want from one up to 100. Once you select your number, the standard Endless gameplay starts.
All numbers larger than 1 will have you count by a specific scale of numbers to reach the number you selected. For example if you choose 15, the game will have you count by ones starting with 11 until you make your way to 15. It’s important to note that game changes things up now and then in this mode. For example, if you play 15 again, the game may have you count by threes. After that intro counting, as always, the trademark monsters mess everything up by making a lot of noise. Then you have to drag each number back to its appropriate place. Once you do that the narrator will count the numbers again.
After that an interesting element comes into play. You’ll see a simple addition equation on the screen. You have the drag the numbers and the plus symbol into the equation. Then the plus sign will turn into a monster that eats the numbers. Then the main number appears while the narrator reads the equation. I think this is a great addition to the game, but I do have one issue with it. The actual equation disappears from the screen as soon as you put all the numbers and plus sign in place. So when the narrator is reading the equation, all you see on the screen is the main number. It’s a little issue, but I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t have left the equation on the screen longer.
Finally you’ll notice that all of the monsters have eyes that correspond to their number. Three has three eyes, four has four eyes, etc.
As you tap the monsters’ eyes, the narrator will count as you do it. There are two different kinds of eyes: The ones without lashes represent the number one. The ones with lashes represent the number 10.
After you’ve done all of these activities your rewarded with a cute little movie that has something to do with the number.
Overall Endless Numbers is another great addition to the Endless family. I love that they’ve chosen to focus on math and I’m hopeful they’ll do something else besides words in the future.
Endless numbers can be downloaded for free, but if you want all of the numbers up to 100, you’ll need to purchase a pack that costs $11.99.