Back in January, 2010 I reviewed a clever math app titled Sums Stacker. The premise of the app is to take three sums and then arrange (stack) different numbers to equal that sum. The game has clever customization options and turns mental math into a fun game. Fast forward to June 2012 and the developer, Daren Carstens, has combined Sums Stacker and two other clever math games into an app called Math Doodles for iPad. These puzzles will provide a challenge for all age levels

• Sums Stacker – The Sums Stacker game remains the same. Players must rearrange a given set of numbers into three columns to create the three sums. Younger children can play with rings and counting fingers and older players will find a tremendous variety of other number representations. Up for a real challenge? How about playing the game with the numbers written in binary? The game truly can be customized for preschoolers on up.
• Connect Sums – Players are shown a set of numbers in a 4×4 grid and they are given a target sum. The challenge is to tap on a series of numbers that will add up to that sum. Just as in Sums Stacker, players can change the way numbers are represented which customizes the difficulty of the game.
• Unknown Square – Unknown Square presents a 3×3 grid with sums given for each row. Some numbers are provided and others are missing, players must fill in the missing numbers to solve for the given sums. Again, the wide variety of number representations is included in this puzzle.
• Splat Go Round – This is a sneak peek at the next game Daren is working on. It’s a rough draft of a functioning game that he’ll be polishing up and releasing in a future update.

One of my favorite things about Sums Stackers is also one of my favorites about Math Doodles – the wide variety of ways you can represent numbers. Fingers on a hand, dice, Chinese Numerals, coins, fractions and more – there is so much here to get children (and adults) involved and thinking outside the box about math. Daren says that he “designs Math Doodles to provide a place where anyone can discover the joy, wonder, and fun of mathematics.” My family would say that he’s succeeded in doing just that.

Price when Reviewed: \$2.99

See the app in iTune

Requirements: Compatible with iPad.Requires iOS 5.0 or later.

Seller: Carstens Studios Inc.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.