Math Swatter Review

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Title: Math Swatter
Developer: CelleC Games
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download: 64 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download 

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: No

Going into the second year of the site, I wanted to make it a goal to try to start covering games of genres I had not done before. I have done a lot of genres so far, including action, adventure, platform, RPG, shooting, sports, and more. However, I want to go into even more genres, some of which are genres even the majority of the gaming community may not expect to see on the site.

Today, I’m going to jump into a genre you wouldn’t ever expect of me, the Education genre. Educational games have been around since forever. Anyone in my generation can probably remember playing games like Math Blaster, Reading Blaster, and Slam Dunk Typing on PC back in elementary school or games like Mario’s Time Machine on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Educational games have always been around, and there are some of these games available on the PS Vita as well.

Taking a look into many of the recent releases on the PlayStation Mobile platform, I have found a simple, yet engaging educational math game. Having just recently released and testing simple math equations, here is my official review of Math Swatter!

Story

Due to this game not having any sort of plot or story, this section shall be blank

Gameplay

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Math Swatter is a game that is difficult to classify to a specific genre. The way most Educational Games play is based off of a specific genre, but this game is somewhat of a unique thing that I haven’t played much of. The closest game I can think of to compare is Sunflowers, though it does function a little different. Let’s call it a puzzle game.

When you first boot up the game, you will be able to see the tutorial for the game as well as diving into the actual gameplay. The game runs in 5 different grade levels of difficulty. The levels are 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The higher difficulty, the more complex the game is, which shall be explained later on in this review. Once you choose your difficulty, you are thrown into the game.

On the screen, you will have an equation at the bottom of the screen that you will have to find the answer to. These equations are fairly simple, for those more technical in the math profession. They will start out as simple Addition and Subtraction problems. In the higher difficulties, though, this can be more complex with larger numbers as well as also mixing in Division and Multiplication.

How you solve the problems is fairly simple. There are flies floating around the screen, holding number signs. Once you know the answer to the equation, you simple tap to swat the fly with the correct answer to advance to the next equation. Hit the wrong fly and you’ll lose one bar of your health. Your goal is to get as many equations correct, without fail, as you can. You get points for correct answers. If you get 15 consecutive correct answers, you’ll enter a Bonus Level, where there will be golden flies that you can quickly tap to dramatically increase your score.

The challenge of the game comes from obstacles that appear on the screen at the same time you’re trying to solve equations. Spiders will sometimes crawl onto the screen and must be swatted. If you don’t get them quickly, they’ll set up webs on the screen to make it harder to see. You can tap to get rid of the spider as well as tapping webs to get rid of them. There are also other insects, like wasps that will do this as well. On the lower difficulties, this is pretty simple. On the higher levels, however, it gets frantic when you’ve got several obstacles on screen at once and must divide your focus on getting rid of them as well as solving more complex problems.

A game does not end until you run out of health. So, you keep going until you get enough wrong answers to lose all of your health bars. Once this happens, you are given a High Score. It also tells you how many equations you got correct as well as how many golden flies you collected. At this point, you can start a new game or restart that difficulty level to go again.

The difficulty of the game can be very easy or very hard. I did very well in math through high school as well as college, and some of the higher difficulties took me a good deal of time to be able to focus on solving the equation and getting rid of everything on the screen. It definitely proved to be a big challenge, even though this game is more geared towards younger audiences in elementary and middle school.

As far as length goes, it’s what you make of it. My first session in Grade Level 1 was about 30 minutes and ended because I intentionally chose wrong answers to end the game. If you really get into the style and want a high score, though, I could see games going on for hours. It’s what you make of it, though. A session could be 5 minutes, or it could be 2 hours.

Controls

The controls for this game are going to be a tad different from most PlayStation Mobile games. While most PSM games have touch controls as well as button controls (or just button controls), Math Swatter only has touch controls, much like its Mobile counterpart. As you may have guessed, this game is not compatible with the PlayStation TV to those of you who may want to do a family session on the big screen.

Controlling the game is pretty straight-forward. As far as touch gestures are concerned, the only controls you will have will be tapping the screen. Tap options in the menu to cycle through those parts and tap the screen to select flies, spiders, and wasps in the actual gameplay to play that portion of the game. All in all, it’s a really simple game to control and play, likely on purpose since this game is more geared towards younger audiences.

Presentation

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As far as presentation is concerned, Math Swatter isn’t too bad. The visuals, themselves, don’t look bad. They offer a pretty simple 2D style of animations and renders, and they look good. There aren’t any breaks or jagged edges on any of the character models and gameplay goes through very smooth. There aren’t any sections where there is slowdown or lag throughout each segment.

The main concern you may have is the load times. PS Mobile has never been known to have good load times, though some games are better than others. When you first start up Math Swatter, expect to wait about 7-8 seconds for the game to load. Everything else isn’t bad, but isn’t great. When you load a game in each difficulty, expect to wait at least 5 seconds before the new screen loads. It’s not bad, but there are other PSM games that load much quicker.

Summary

Math Swatter is: Good
If you have a family and want some educational games on your PS Vita, then Math Swatter is here to fulfill that need. On the downside, there’s not a lot to the game, the constant equations gets repetitive over time, and the load times are longer than they should be. Otherwise, you’ll find a decent educational game that can frustrate and teach the minds of children and adults alike.

7/10

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