App Review: Mental Calculation2 Minus

I have often been told that I exceed at math, especially when it comes to mental calculations. I was excited, then, to be able to approach my mathematical Achilles’ heel: subtraction. For whatever reason, addition has always made more sense. Although in all fairness, I don’t think many would say that they prefer subtraction, so much that they add by subtracting a negative value.

It is with this background that I approached Mental Calculation2 Minus (free), the latest in a series of math tools created by tatsuya itoh.

The app is relatively simple in layout and design, simply choose the number of questions you want to answer and then how many digits in the minuend and the subtrahend (I had to Google that, I do numbers not words!). This gives a range of 20-100 questions and 1-1 to 99-99.

Mental Calculation2 Minus gameplay

The gameplay involves a rapid-fire style questioning system, but with a catch: the next equation is somewhat visible behind the current. This information is not much help when you are trying to figure out 75-38, but it can certainly help to increase speed when solving 7-5.

The rounds are timed, and lend themselves well to online leaderboards. Fortunately Itoh has one for each combination and they are already hotly contested. I am proud of my current stance of 15.45 seconds for 20 questions, putting me at 9 of 222 players.

As this is a free app, it is not surprising that there is minor advertising. However, this is limited to a small bar on the bottom of the home screen which links to the developer’s page in the App store.

For anyone looking to brush up on there subtractions, or people looking for something in the vain of the math portion of Brain Age on DS,  Mental Calculation2 Minus (free) is an easy recommendation.

Batman: Arkham City Reflection

***Spoiler Free***

I’ve had Batman: AC collecting dust on my shelf since Christmas. I’ve had lots of opportunities to start playing the game, but never got around to it. To preface my reflections: I’ve played Arkham Asylum as well as seen Chris Nolan’s recent trilogy of movies, but I have not read any of the comics or really remember the older movies or TV show(s).

As I am currently between school and work, I’ve had a fair bit of time for video games, but in 12 days I managed to spend only ~4 hours playing Batman: AC. I had even moved on to playing Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, before resolving that I really should give Batman a fair shake. Call me a sucker for a good story, but I was completely lost and underwhelmed by the events of this game. Besides the fact that I was often confused by the sequence of events, I don’t think the game did a sufficiently good job of setting up the foundation story. Maybe the fact that I’m not really familiar with the large supporting cast of bad guys didn’t help.

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Ski Safari Review (because my blog is having an identity crisis)

I was going to write a literary masterpiece, but then I got distracted playing Ski Safari on my iPad. I was going to write something for the good of mankind; instead I have spent 5+ hours this week riding penguins and doing back-flips.

As this is my first iPad game review, I did not receive it for free*. Was this game worth my hard-earned $0.99? Yes.

The first thought I had when playing Ski Safari was that it was similar to Jetpack Joyride, and not just because of the same price point. They are both 2D scrollers where the main objective is lasting as long as possible.

While other review sites are siding with Jetpack, I find I keep coming pack to the powdery white safari. As I am reviewing Ski Safari, I will now stop talking about other games.

Ski Safari is a relatively simple game to play; only one finger is needed to control it. In addition, the game is quite pretty and has always run buttery-smooth.

On the other hand, the catchy music could definitely use the help of an additional track, if only to help me from whistling the song whenever I’m not playing.

In conclusion, Ski Safari is a great little game. It is more forgiving than the competition, and is thus a great choice for casual casual gamers.

Click here to buy Ski Safari on iTunes

*If any developer would like to send me a download code for their game, I will guarantee a review on my blog. Whether I like your game will be determined in as much of an impartial experience as possible.