Integration into game: Explicit (At each stage, new, and increasingly challenging multiplication problems
are introduced and practiced and then combined with previous equations
for review); Skill Domain: Factual; Content Domain: Number and Algebra.
Genre: Action Adventure ; media: Computer Game; Activity: Boundary: Rules: Formal; Modes of Play: Collect
the correct number of items in order to answer the multiplication
problem posed (e.g. snails), Navigate around environment. Structural: Interface: Input Modalities (text and images) ;Players: One; Game Facilitator: Computer; Game Time: Turn Based; Intended Use: Edutainment.
Play Context:Local: Player to PC; Teacher Support: Embedded within the game (not within typology); Design and Development: Academic edu & Tech; Production: Commercial (limited version available for trial download)
Game Screen Shot
Screen Shot 1
Screen Shot 2
The aim of the game is to escape from
the dungeon. In order to do so, a learner needs
to progress to different levels within it. To do so,
he needs to unlock doors within the dungeon. By answering.
a multiplication question, he obtains possession of the key
to unlock a door. In the above screen shot, a learner gains
possession of the key by inputting the answer to the question
To assist the learner in answering a multiplication question, a corresponding
number of snails virtually appear within the room. The learner must navigate to
collect these. As he collects each snail, a voice over is given as to the number
of snails collected. For example, in the above screenshot, as each snail is collected,
the voice over counts up in a series of four.
A numerical representation of the aforementioned
count is also given. This reinforces the counting procedure within the learner's mind .
Screen Shot 3
Screen Shot 4
Once all the snails have been collected, the learner must insert
each into the table to the right hand side of the multiplication
question posed. This is achieved by a throwing action.
Within the table, each snail appears as a dice. As
each dice is revealed, a voice over and numerical representation
is given of the total quantity displayed by all dices. Again, this is
done to reinforce in the learner's mind the manner by which multiplication is achieved.
When all slots have been filled, the learner is able to type in the
answer to the original question posed. Such an action opens the
On opening the door, a monster appears. The monster serves to ensure that the learner has correctly learned his tables.
In order to kill the monster, the learner must provide the correct answer
to each multiplication question that it poses. The learner has a limited time
period in which to do this.
The learner's time line is symbolised by the yellow line at the top of the
screen. The monster's life line is symbolised by the red line. As the learner
answers each question correctly, the life line of the monster is reduced.
The monster keeps a complete history of all multiplication questions posed
and randomly displays each to ensure that the learner has learned them correctly.
The game utilises the dungeon metaphor for
all tables from one up to twelve. In order to ensure "total mastery" of
regular reviews are held within the game. If a learner is found to
score incorrectly on set questions, he is redirected back to learn them
again. A learner
has the option to forego certain tables in favour of others through the map facility provided by the game.
Research data in support of pedagogical claims made by Timez Attack
As the above game was not derived from a research background,
I contacted the creators to ascertain whether they had any relevant
research data to support their pedagogical claims. The following is a
copy of the transcript I received from them:
"We did a fairly informal testing of the software by bringing in six children who were
about to enter 3rd-grade. We had them play the game 1 hour a day for 9
days. At the end of that period, 50% had completely passed off all
their multiplication through 12's. 33% were roughly an hour or two away
from passing them all off. One child had only passed off three facts.
You see, the beauty of Timez Attack is that a child simply cannot
progress from one level to the next without demonstrating what we term
"total mastery". We define this as being able to recall every single
fact in the set and to be able to type it in correctly within 3 - 4
seconds each. So you see, you really can't play through the game with
any result other than total mastery.
So again, the question becomes, "how long does this take", and "how hard
is it to get children to play". So our test roughly showed that it
takes a child an average of about 9 hours to master all their times
tables. And the even better answer is the response to the second
question. We've tested the game now with thousands of children and the
overwhelming response is that they love to play. And as discussed, when
they play it, they totally master multiplication."
group to discuss Timez Attack Game (http://www.bigbrainz.com/)