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Math Software Reviews

Great Wave Software's
Number Maze

For Ages 5 - 12

See also the Summary Table for ratings of comparable Math Software.

Reviewed on:
Childrens software: Number Maze Screen Shot Pentium90 with 8MB, a PowerMac 6100/60 with 8MB
also on a Mac IIsi, and a Performa

Number Maze focuses on helping the user improve math skills through practice. The program consists of a series of mazes, and obstacles. To overcome the obstacles and reach the castle at the end of the maze, the user must correctly answer math problems. These problems include both drill-style calculations and word problems. The word problems incorporate a neat kid-pleasing feature; the ability to incorporate your names and the names of your child’s friends! (The Mac version also provides a very useful, but mechanical-sounding, text-to-speech capability that makes the program usable by non-readers.)

We were initially skeptical of a program that claims to be educationally useful for grades K-6. Working with the program, however, revealed an impressive degree of depth. The math problems thoroughly cover seventy skill levels, from counting to word problems to long division.

Ease of Install / Use
Installation and use of Number Maze on PCs and a various models of Mac was problem-free in our tests. The manual is a bit lengthy, but helpful.

Number Maze fits math problems into a fun -- but not a video game -- setting. “The mazes are attractive and inviting AND have the children apply their skills frequently,” commented a teacher reviewer. Another was impressed with the early introduction of word problems, and noted, “This is a good program because it requires problem solving skills, not just computation.”

Number Maze tracks the progress of multiple users (and keeps detailed records) and automatically moves them up a level when they have demonstrated a [settable] level of competence. Difficulty levels may be changed at any time during use. The ascent of levels is very gradual. Lessons from the previous level are incorporated into the current level. For example, when graduating from counting to addition, the objects that the user is asked to add appear on the screen for some problems so that the link between counting and addition can be visually observed.

Proxy Parent Value
Number Maze is an excellent educational program and most children should be able to use the program on their own. However, several parent reviewers worried that kids may become bored with the program because of its focus on drills. To get around this, they suggested using NumberMaze for shorter periods of time.

Best for...
Number Maze provides valuable reinforcement of math concepts at multiple skill levels. A child that shows special interest in math will especially like the program, but most kids seemed to enjoy it, and learn from it, regardless of their previous math exposure to math.

“Number Maze has so many skill levels that it would be excellent for a family with more than one child between kindergarten and sixth grade,” commented one parent. Teachers also found it useful in the classroom because it is “so focused on math and it tracks each student's progress carefully.” In fact, teachers at our test school requested that their school purchase Number Maze after they finished their evaluations!

Our kids reviewers loved this program, and our teachers and parents found it educationally valuable. “Children asked to stay after school so they could run the program without a crowd around,” noted one teacher. "This is a completely focused math program that kids enjoy."

See also the:
Reviews of other Math software programs.

Children's Software System Requirements


Operating System Windows 3.1 or later System 6.0.7 or later
CPU Type and Speed 386 or faster Mac Plus or better
Hard Drive Space ~2 MB ~2 MB
Memory (RAM) 4 MB 1 MB
Graphics VGA or SVGA n/a
CD-ROM Speed floppy floppy
Audio sound card n/a
Other Needs mouse n/a

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