It’s a Numbers Game

Title: Numbers
Developer: OSMO

Age Group: 6 – 10 years
Hours played by my kids: 80+
Available on: ipad (review), iphone, Fire

Another great game from OSMO. This one comes as part of their Genius Starter 3-pack that includes also Tandem and Words games. I will write reviews of those as well, but I want to get into Numbers first as this is Jan’s favorite game by a long shot.

Game engages kids to use Numbers by using physical tiles, both “Dots” approach at beginner levels and “Digits” later on, which kids put in front of the device to make numbers and complete levels. Very simple concept that is super intuitive. Kids learn to add by putting more tiles, subtract by removing tiles and multiply by connecting tiles together. That being said, this is not a Math Learning game, it will not help them grasp the calculus concepts, it will help them solidify their existing knowledge that they learned about in school.

Osmo Numbers
Dots tiles in action

Jan started playing the game at age 4 with Dots tiles as he was able to manually count the dots, he stayed at this level for quite a while before moving forward to Digits. True, he learned digits separately by watching YouTube animated numbers train cartoons (see link here, highly recommended). It’s more than a year now since we have the game, he still plays with it occasionally and is asking me to teach him how to Multiply.

Can this Game teach Kids how to Count or Multiply?

Probably not entirely. The game is simple, numbers appear in bubbles and kids need to reproduce the numbers with tiles. There is limited guidance in-game and in the beginning it took a lot of my time to explain the logic to my kid. He didn’t get it from the instructions and there is no Tutorial Mode to start with. I would say some other games do this better. OSMO Numbers is good to solidify existing math knowledge by actually practicing the principles of calculus in a fun way. Perfect for practicing at home what was taught at school!

Is it worth the hefty price tag?

In order to play this game you need to commit to OSMO Eco-system as you need to buy the ipad Stand (40$) and stand-alone game (30$) or alternatively Genius starter kit with 3 games that includes the stand as well (100$). But once you have that all the other cool games like already reviewed Coding with Awbie are “cheaper” to add on. Each new game becomes a good gift idea for Kids at special occasions (wink-wink to grandparents).

My kid loves Numbers, but he is special in this regard as he is into numbers since he was 3. I don’t think it would really spark an interest in him at this young age if it wasn’t for that. The game lacks any kind of story or additional game approaches that could work with kids that don’t know Numbers/Math yet. Thus I am reserving my recommendation for those Kids that already show interest in Math and already started to learn numbers in school.

Jan’s comment on the game (age 4):
This is my favorite game, I really like numbers. I want to learn to multiply so I can finish all levels (smiling).

Numbers Game - $30
Overall
7.8/10
7.8/10
  • How good is it technically? - 9/10
    9/10
  • Value for Money - 7/10
    7/10
  • How deep is the rabbithole? - 7/10
    7/10
  • How long kids love it? - 9/10
    9/10
  • Can my kid to play it on his own? - 8/10
    8/10
  • How much kids can learn from it? - 6.5/10
    6.5/10

My thoughts on the game

Numbers is a great game for Kids that love Counting, they will love the visuals and increasing complexity through the levels. That being said, this is not a Math Learning game, it will not help them grasp the calculus concepts, it can only help them solidify their existing knowledge that they learned about in school.

I would recommend this game only to those Kids which already show interest for Numbers as it’s just too expensive to discard if your kid doesn’t like it. Don’t buy this game in order to teach kids Math as in-game guidance is limited and most likely will not be enough for your child to grasp the concept on his own. I got this game for my older kid (age 4) as he is crazy about the numbers and he is returning to it for more than a year. OSMO Age recommendation is actually 5+ and I would imagine that Kids at age 7 or more, already being taught Math at school, don’t actually need help in understanding how to play/calculate and will get into it intuitively as advertised. Keep that in mind if you are considering to get this game for your Child.

Pros

  • Great Visuals & Fun to play
  • Good for Counting practice
  • Physical Tiles are great idea

Cons

  • Relatively expensive to get started
  • Does not actually teach your kids basic math concepts
  • Lacks engaging story-line
  • Lacks different game modes