Tuesday, November 30, 2010

App O' The Mornin': 123 Pop Review

Grade: C
Price: $1

I'm little slow getting back into the swing of the app thing since my Thanksgiving recess. My device is now crammed with wonderful stuff, courtesy of the Black Friday deals that lit up the App Store like a Christmas tree. I've been skimming through so many titles, however, that I didn't get to burrow deeply into many of them, so I'm covering a simpler game today .

And 123 Pop is definitely simple. This was probably intended as a kid's game, but there's enough here for adults to find it appealing as well.

There's only one game mode, with three difficulty levels. Numbers float around outer space inside little bubbles. You tap two numbers, and then a third number that is the sum of the first two. Rockets and stars add bonus points. The goal is to get the score as high as possible in 60 seconds.

This would seem to be a pretty thin reed upon which to hang a game, but 123 Pop actually works fairlywell. My young daughter thought it was incredibly addictive, and even I enjoyed it. It's not just a simple math drill: the bubbles bounce around with a bit of physical modeling, and as they begin to crowd the screen things can get pretty tricky.

The grade of "C" isn't meant to indicate an inferior game: just one that could have used a little something more. It would be easy to improve with the addition of other forms of math, larger numbers, variable play times, and more items to mix up the action. The formula, however, is quite sound, and it makes an entertaining math driller for kids, and a light puzzler for adults.


Peter Lacalamita said...

Thanks for the review of 123 POP!!!
I plan to add some new twists to the game in the next update.
Peter Lacalamita

Thomas L. McDonald said...

I'll keep an eye out for it. I often re-evaluate and re-grade things after updates. It's a good core design. Have you thought about adding subtraction?

Peter Lacalamita said...

123 POP HD is here!
New adding and subtraction (Thx Thomas)..new Low Hi mode as well as
freezing numbers. Numbers go to 20 as well.

More popping, more fun, only for the iPad.
iTunes link:

Thomas L. McDonald said...

I'll have to check it out!

Magnetic Studio said...

Hi Thomas,

Just wanted to let you know about my new app:
Adam's Amazing Dream

It's a 3D Pop-Up book app for kids 3 - 5.
Could you do another review?

Itunes link:

Thomas L. McDonald said...

I'll take a look at it!

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