**I was given nothing in exchange for this review. I purchased this product on my own and we use it in our educational studies. What follows is purely the opinion of me and my kids, your experience may vary**
1. Since I wrote this review I switched from Android to iPhone. I contacted Dragonbox to see if I could just switch platforms without buying the app again and I was told no 🙁 Major Bummer. I opted NOT to buy the app again as it’s $6, which means I would have paid $12 for the same app.
2. There are now two DragonBox Algebras available. I reviewed DragonBox Algebra 5+, which currently retails for $5.99 in the iPhone APP store (I don’t know what the price for other platforms is). DragonBox Algebra 12+ continues the learning and is $9.99.
I’m not afraid to admit that math has always scared the beheebies out of me. As the parent of teenagers I’ve had to be creative in finding curriculum and I’ve had to learn pretty much everything over again with the kids. How much easier would math be for me if I had an early introduction into advanced math, like say when I was 5 or 6 years old?
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Dragonbox is a multi-platform game that is designed to introduce the concepts of Algebra to children as young as 5. Dragonbox teaches the basics of algebra using fun pictures first, gradually adding in symbols and numbers. And did I mention there are neat dragons in it? Well, there are!
Dragonbox works like other popular games, you open a chapter and work through the levels in each before moving onto the next chapter. Each level provides clear directions, and they’re illustrated so even your non-readers will catch on quickly. You can pass the level with one, two or three stars because just like with any advanced math there are multiple ways to get the answer. You get one or two stars for solving the puzzle in the wrong amount of steps, you get three stars if you solve the puzzle in the fewest amount of steps.
Before I go any further I’ll tell you that I’ve had a smartphone for 3 years and this is the first app that I have ever purchased. As a rule I just don’t pay for apps. Dragonbox, however, is the only exception. The app came with such good reviews that I had to try it and I am glad I did. It took ME a while to figure the game out but my 6 and 8 year old sons caught on immediately. I’m still in chapter 1, they’re several chapters ahead of me.
Dragonbox and Dragonbox 2 (which I have never tried) are available in quite a few formats, including PC and Mac, so you don’t need a smartphone to play. I highly, highly (HIGHLY!) recommend this game for anyone who sees algebra in their future (or sees themselves teaching algebra in the future!)
Review from my 8 year old: “A very fun game yet some levels are hard.”
Review from my 6 year old: “The first dragon is easy but the second dragon is harder, but really fun!”
Platform: PC, Mac, iDevices, Android, Windows Phone
Price: $ (under $10)
Number of players: 1 (can have multiple single-player accounts)
Recommended ages: Dragonbox 1 is for 5 & up; Dragonbox 2 is for 12 & up
Reading level required: Beginner
Company website: DragonboxApp.com
Meg Grooms is a long-time homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle and currently call Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.