Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Lola's Math Train (3DS eShop) Review

Review for Lola

Educational games do not need to be patronising to be aimed at younger children. Sadly, far too often that is the case though, or, on the other hand, they prove to be highly frustrating experiences by developers that think merely stripping away many features of a normal game will automatically make for a pleasing experience for children. Developer BeiZ is hoping to break from the pattern with Lola's Math Train, now available for $3.99 on the US Nintendo 3DS eShop.

Lola's Math Train shows how learning for children should be handled in the videogame realm, blending cute visuals, clear voice work, intuitive controls, and a nice variety of tasks that adapt to a child's learning level. Starting off, there are three difficulty levels to choose from, ranging from simple identification of numbers themselves, and going right through to subtraction and addition sums, with a smattering of other objectives mixed in to keep everything entertaining for those with short attention spans.

Youngsters - between the ages of 3 and 8 according to developer BeiZ - can learn how to follow voice prompts to choose numbers from a selection of options, find matching numbers that add up to a certain figure, determine the correct pattern trends for different shapes, select what box contains the most squares, figure out the actual difference between numbers and letters, and even place numbers in increasing or decreasing value, plus much more. The beauty of Lola's Math Train is how it adapts perfectly to those struggling or others that excel at the lowest levels, ensuring that children never grow frustrated during the 'math adventure.'

Screenshot for Lola's Math Train on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Brightly presented with a very soothing, encouraging female voiceover that reads almost everything aloud for children that either struggle reading or cannot be bothered to do so, Lola's Math Train is also filled with adorable little animal characters and 19 mathematical games that educate whilst allowing children to have fun.

Six other animal friends can join Lola on her Math Train one at a time, meaning that there are seven rounds in total to play through, each with eleven tasks to complete along the way, which is definitely great to get the basics of numerical skills, puzzle solving, character identification, addition and subtraction practised sufficiently until it starts to stick. Where other 'edutainment' titles miss the mark, Lola's Math Train is definitely on the right track!

Screenshot for Lola's Math Train on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

The basis of Lola's Math Train is in the title; everything revolves around simple mathematics and numeracy skills, with the touch screen being perfect for dragging numbers around or tapping on the correct answers. This is certainly no Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training, but it was never meant to be, instead being aimed at a pre-school level, maybe stretching to junior school age. Clear, intuitive, to the point, and cute to boot!

Graphics

Everything is highly simplistic, but with enough colour and cuteness to keep youngsters happy. Greater use of the system's capabilities might have been good, but it still does its job admirably. Lola the panda and her friends all look appealing for children, but more animation for them would have been beneficial.

Sound

The US voiceover woman used conveys enough kindness and comfort to encourage children to keep trying, although there are times where it is clear the flow is not quite natural; individual words and separate sentences are fine, but numbers are said with different intonations, making it sound robotic when a string of them are spoken together.

Value

To drill home the simplistic mathematics, there is plenty of repetition, which has been proven to be a necessity for young minds to really pick things up properly. However, the game does not grow boring, mixing addition and subtraction conundrums with picture pattern puzzles and matching pairs of numbers. There are also three levels of difficulty to help make this more suitable for a wider age range.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

Lola's Math Train is a great little educational title on the Nintendo 3DS eShop and will help youngsters develop their numerical skills in a variety of ways that both entertain and educate at the same time whilst proving to be neither patronising nor frustrating. Its focus is clear and it delivers in a smart way that will hopefully keep children on the right track.

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30.03.2013

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Developer

BeiZ

Publisher

BeiZ

Genre

Educational

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date TBA   North America release date Out now   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date TBA   

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

It's really pleasing to see an educational game that works the way it should! Far too many game for children are condescending or overly frustrating because the developer wasn't thinking directly about how best to approach an 'edutainment' product.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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