Sakura Quick Math is an educational iPhone and iPad game for children and adults that drills your basic arithmetic skills by having you race against the clock and input your answers by simply writing them on the screen. It's gorgeous, innovative, and fun.

Sakura Quick Math has 5 different modes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and mixed. Each mode also has 3 different levels of difficulty: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. All these modes and levels makes Sakura Quick Math great for kids in grades 1-5.

To play the game, you simply answer each arithmetic problem that comes up by writing it anywhere on the screen. If you get it wrong, you have to keep trying until you get it right or you can choose to skip the question. The goal is to get through all the problems as quickly as possible, however, so skipping a question will result in a time penalty.

When you complete a round, your time and penalties will be calculated and displayed on a graph. This lets you keep track of your progress to see if you're getting better. Since a faster time means you did better, you want your graph to decrease over time, not increase!

As with anything that uses handwriting recognition, it's easy to be skeptical and think "does it really work"? Sakura Quick Math is off to tremendous start with their handwriting recognition. It's definitely not perfect, but works pretty darn good. It will sometimes misread my 2's and 5's and mistake them for 8's and 6's. My husband also runs into an occasional hiccup. Unfortunately, since Sakura Quick Math is a game where speed is everything, this can be rather frustrating. But my guess is that young kids won't be bothered by this as much.

The good

  • Beautiful design
  • Input your own handwritten answers
  • Modes for addition, subtractions, multiplication, division, or a mixture of all
  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels for each mode
  • Great for 1st-5th graders, pre-algebra students, or anyone who needs brush up on their arithmetic skills
  • Universal for iPhone and iPad

The bad

  • No stress-free non-timed mode for general practice. This would be great for young kids who just need practice and don't want to feel rushed.
  • No support for multiple users
  • Recognition of 2's and 5's is sometimes wrong (could just be my handwriting)

The bottom line

Sakura Quick Math is a fun way for adults and children to test their arithmetic skills. It does occasionally make mistakes with handwriting recognition, but overall, Sakura Quick Math is a great educational app. In fact, I'm highly considering reserving my school's iPads and having my students compete against each other during class sometime this semester -- I think they'd have a lot of fun.

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