iPhone Life magazine

Nommons Is a Math Game Your Kids Can Sink Their Teeth Into

I had the opportunity to preview Nommons: Math Universe before it was released, at a press event in Los Angeles, during the App Developers Conference where I was speaking. I'm glad I got the chance, because as it turned out, my daughter was struggling with math at that very time. I knew an app ought to help her somehow, as it can be much more interactive than flash cards.

Nommons was just the ticket. Nommons isn't necessarily a math app or a game app; it's both, and you can position it to your kids the way they want! It's a game that plays like a side scroller in space, with cartoony graphics, aliens to avoid, candy to collect, etc. but you also earn points, which can be used to enhance your spaceship, by answering math questions.

You can select addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division at startup, so the app can grow with you and your child as they learn more, starting in kindergarten and into elementary school. Nommons: Math Universe is marketed as suitable for ages 6 to 8 and that's about right.

While there are power ups to be bought, you only use virtual currency, earned by progressing through the app. I like that there are no in-app purchases. I've been burned before, not by my own kids, but I once lent my iPad to a friend's son, and he racked up $75 in charges in a matter of minutes! I swear I didn't give him my password, but I must have logged in to the App Store within Apple's predetermined grace period, so no password was required. Fortunately, Apple refunded the money and I've totally disabled In-App purchases, which can be a nuisance, but better safe than sorry. So, it's nice to see a children's app without such dangers.

Speaking of iPads, Nommons is a full-fledged universal iPad and iPhone app, so it takes advantage of the entire screen. Given the $2.99 price, it might be worthwhile having a free version so people can try before they buy. As the name suggests, the publishers, YummyYummyTummy, could easily add more universes, like Reading, History etc., and have a full line of educational games!

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is founder of No Tie Software, an app developer specializing in Ringtones and Sound FX including AutoRingtone.

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip, but over the years, Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62.

In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.