MultiAlien Is a Fun Alien Shooter App That Also Teaches Math


Of all the topics in school, my kids struggle a bit with math. It’s not an issue I worry about it – they understand the concepts – they just need a little extra practice, which is why I like to keep an eye out for good math apps. I found a fun one a couple of weeks ago and, after playing with it for a bit, I think it’s got what it takes to be a winner.

MultiAlien (for iOS devices) can best be described as flash cards meeting an old arcade alien shooter. Players choose between an addition or multiplication setting, then enemy ships begin raining down fire on the player. Above the enemy is a math problem that the player must quickly solve. By tapping on the correct solution, a stream of fire emits from the player’s ship, destroying it and bringing up the next ship and problem. The hero’s ship can move up, down, left, and right by tilting the device.

As you progress, shields, health, machine guns and extra lives appear onscreen and you must move your ship to capture them, while avoiding asteroids and alien bombs. (You can destroy bombs headed your way, too.) If you choose an incorrect solution, the enemy ship strengthens and is protected by a shield. Choose wisely!

The app isn’t perfect – I think the math difficulty should be more consistent as levels ramp up and the footprint of ships seems to be larger than the icon on screen is, but the app’s creator, Greg Herlein, seems very responsive to feedback. I’m sure it won’t be long before MultiAlien sees another update.

Still, the most important thing is that it got my son practicing multiplication. Thanks to the XBox Live Arcade, he’s a fan of Galaga-type games and was familiar with strategy, so he took to MultiAlien pretty quickly, but some of the problems were outside his ability and he needed help. A beginner/expert setting is probably necessary to keep younger kids playing. MultiAlien is a challenge for adults, too. Pretty quickly, I was sweating it while dodging asteroids and bombs as I searched for the correct answer, although, I was grinning the whole time. At 99 cents, MultiAlien is not only a bargain but definitely worth checking out.

Disclaimer: GeekDad was sent a code for this app.

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