Game Review

Successfully Learning Mathematics: Year 4 Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by James Newton

A game you can count on?

This is the third entry in Tivola's educational series, representing another year/grade of maths puzzles to help your youngsters pick up the basics. Previous entries haven't been quite up to par, and that sadly continues with Successfully Learning Mathematics: Year 4.

Freddy the Vampire returns to help guide players through a range of challenges, some of which will look familiar to series veterans while others are brand new. Telling the time and hundreds, tens and units and multiplication and division carry over from the previous entry with some variations in difficulty, but they're not executed that well: most of the multiplication and division is just repetition and you can pass by copying answers from other boxes rather than working anything out.

Long addition and subtraction places more emphasis on showing your working as it contains separate areas to show remainders, and you can't succeed in the exercises unless all boxes are filled in correctly, reinforcing good habits. Money problems are present and correct too, this time challenging you to make up a certain amount of cash with as few coins or notes as possible.

Geometry survives from previous entries, but what starts with a promising tangram puzzle quickly becomes overly complicated, asking players to fill the outline of a rhinoceros with a variety of small rectangles and triangles. You can skip any exercise you don't want to finish, at the expense of gold stars that unlock extra levels in a decent Breakout-clone minigame.

Should players get stuck in any problem, the game provides a three-strikes system: your first incorrect answer provides no hints, a second reveals the problematic part of the answer and a third wrong attempt solves the problem for you. More specific advice or reinforcement of the principles behind the exercise would have gone down better, pointing in the right direction rather than just pointing out the mistake.

Conclusion

Successfully Learning Mathematics: Year 4 is a decent entry in the series that will challenge more than it will entertain, and although there are still some issues with the overall balance of activities included it's more good than bad overall.

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User Comments (14)

AlexSays

#5

AlexSays said:

I want one of these games for advanced mathematics. Where is a game that helps me through Calc II and such.

Supremeist

#9

Supremeist said:

Why would you start on Year 2? This "game" looks stupid! Isn't that what school is for?

James

#11

James said:

In the rest of Europe they use a grade system, whereas in the UK we use a year system. On the continent these are known as Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3 and Grade 4 whereas in the UK they're Year 2, Year 3 etc. to correspond with stages in the National Curriculum. We're using the UK names here.

SKTTR

#12

SKTTR said:

Hmm... I think the UK name is stupid.

In Germany this series is called

LERNERFOLG GRUNDSCHULE - MATHEMATIK KLASSE 1
LERNERFOLG GRUNDSCHULE - MATHEMATIK KLASSE 2
LERNERFOLG GRUNDSCHULE - MATHEMATIK KLASSE 3
LERNERFOLG GRUNDSCHULE - MATHEMATIK KLASSE 4

We also have a Wii retail game called LERNERFOLG GRUNDSCHULE - MATHEMATIK KLASSE 1~4 that combines all four games. It's 40 Euro, so it's cheaper to get it on WiiWare.

There are other games in this series as well on Wii retail and PC retail: LERNERFOLG GRUNDSCHULE - DEUTSCH (Successfully Learning German), LERNERFOLG GRUNDSCHULE - ENGLISCH (Successfully Learning English) etc.

Here's a Link to the developers website: http://tivola.de/nintendo-wii.html

James

#13

James said:

@SKTTR Ah, I wondered if this was available on disc! I assume the other games are also from Tivola, so perhaps we'll see them come to WiiWare as well. Thanks for the information!

James

#14

James said:

And as if by magic we have Successfully Learning: English this week!

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