The Land of Venn: Numeric Storms (iOs) Review
Not so much?
There’s a storm brewing in the Land of Venn. The Land of Venn are a series of games that blend math skills with a silly story line to create educational games that are actually fun to play (hard to believe, I know). So the story goes, the Land of Venn is a magical place […]
There’s a storm brewing in the Land of Venn.
The Land of Venn are a series of games that blend math skills with a silly story line to create educational games that are actually fun to play (hard to believe, I know). So the story goes, the Land of Venn is a magical place populated with fruity creatures who need water to survive. Each level features various landscape elements from the colorful land, but all levels have a pond which houses one of the inhabitants of Venn. If the pond is drained, the creature will die – so it is up to you, their mathematical savior, to keep that from happening.
Of course, there’s always someone waiting to rain on your parade (or in this case, drink up your pond water), and in Venn those someones are a variety of strange looking creatures, all with giant straws at the ready to drain the pond. They come at the pond in a variety of ways, via land and air, and you need to use math spells to defeat them before the pond is drained. You have a little time as they are moving towards the pond, and even once they start drinking you can still save the day if you act quickly. To start with, you only have one spell, but as you advance in the game you earn larger and larger spells – these are often more difficult to pull off than the smaller spells, but they pack a much bigger punch, so they’re worth the effort because just like your spells are getting more powerful, so are the enemies.
So how does math play into the equation (see what I did there?). To pull off your spells, you need to have your speedy addition skills at the ready. Each enemy character has a number assigned to it. By drawing a line from one enemy to another, you combine the numbers to add up to one of your spell numbers (for instance, combining a one enemy with a two enemy would pull off a three spell). You have a limited number of spells, so you can’t just add up any of the enemies. The total *must* add up exactly to the spell number or it won’t complete the spell. You can add up as many enemies as you want at a time. For instance, for a larger spell, you could combine even four or five creatures together into a single spell. To combine them, simply draw a line with your finger from one monster to the next. The spell will complete when you lift your finger.
It is this spell mechanic that actually caused me the most trouble in the more difficult puzzles. As the screen gets crowded with enemies, the game often doesn’t know which monster you are selecting. You may try to select one monster from the crowd, but the wrong one will be selected. It gets frustrating as you can see what you need to do to clear the level, but the game keeps selecting the wrong guys. In most levels it isn’t really an issue, as you have plenty of time to clear the board before it gets too crowded. But as the game gets more difficult, more and more of the monsters will require more than one hit to be killed, so it gets crowded much faster. That being said, you can repeat any level as many times as you like without penalty, so it isn’t that big of a deal to just repeat the level until you get through it.
The Land of Venn: Numeric Storms is a great way to improve mental math skills. It truly makes you think on your feet, and the repetition of adding up to the same number in a variety of different ways really drives home the concept. Though you may run into some frustration with selecting the correct enemy when the level is crowded (particularly if you’re using the smaller screen of an iPod or iPhone), it is overall a fun way to get better at math while having a good time.