July 1999 — Volume 4, Number 1
Mystery Math Island
Lawrence Productions Inc., 1995
1800 South 35th Street
Galesburg, Michigan 49053-9687
- 486 DX or faster
- Minimum 8Mb of RAM
- Sound Card (Sound Blaster or 100% compatible)
- SVG video card
- Windows 3.1 or higher
- Double-speed CD-ROM Drive
- 040 processor or faster
- 8Mb of Ram
- 2.5 Mb of free RAM recommended
- 13 inch or bigger 256 color monitor
- System 7.1 or higher
- Double Speed CD- ROM drive
Bad weather caused a pirate ship to sink, but a few rowboats made it to a tropical island. There they found hiding places for their riches and constructed traps for intruders. The pirates left, but plan to return with reinforcements and a vessel bag big enough to rescue their plunder. A map and the treasure are all that remain on the island.
You are a treasure hunter hoping to find the hidden treasures before the pirates come back to reclaim their bounty on Mystery Math Island. To do this, you must navigate the pirate traps by answering math questions. The pirates left clues to where they stashed their four treasure chests. You must use your mathematical wits, get the questions right, and collect clues from the treasure’s location. In addition, you’ll need the right equipment to get it. Fortunately, there is a store on the island where you can buy tools to help you in your search. To pay for the tools, you’ll need to use the pirate gold you find as you search for the treasure.
Your adventure begins first by entering your name at the registration post. Then you have the option of choosing Easy, Medium or Hard math problems. Once you have decided, you are now officially on this strange tropical island. It has its own lagoon with sharks and other kinds of fish.
Pirates hid their treasure in various locations throughout the island and built traps to foil anyone who tried to find it. They left the island, but are returning soon with reinforcements and a bigger vessel to carry their treasure away. Your goal is to find the treasure before they return.
You can go to any “X” location by clicking on it, but you must first answer the math question, you will either find a clue to the treasure’s location, some gold or the treasure itself. There are three clues to help you to deduce which “X” marks the spot. There are four separate treasure chests. You can find one each time you play the game.
The pirates were clever in hiding their math treasure chests. They only put them in dangerous places and precarious locations. There are nine treacherous locations to search on the island. They are the Hidden Cave, Tropical Forest, Mystical Mountain, Underground River, Lousy Lagoon, Violent Volcano, White Cliffs, Soupy Swamp, and Buckeye Beach.
Once you know where the treasure is, you will also need a tool to retrieve it and the gold to purchase it. If you don’t have enough gold then you must go to the other X’s on the island to get some or at least until you have enough gold to purchase the tool from the store to retrieve the treasure. The store carries the following items: a lantern for the cave, an axe for the forest, a pick for the mountain, a canoe for the underground river, scuba-diving gear for the lagoon, a flame-proof suit for the volcano, a shovel for the beach, rope for the cliffs, and wading boots for the swamp.
As you play the game you may see the pirate ship moving over the horizon. The closer the ship comes to the Island Lagoon, the less time you have to find the treasure. It is a race against time because once the pirates return you will suffer their wrath.
If you are so lucky to finish the game by getting the hidden treasure, you will see your rank improve as the height of the crow’s nest ascends the mast. You start as a Landlubber and can achieve the following higher ranks: Helmsman, Captain, and Admiral.
When returning to Mystery Math Island, enter your name exactly as you did before. You will then be given the option of choosing the level of difficulty for the game your about to play again. Easy represents a third- or fourth-grade level of difficulty. Medium is fifth- and sixth-grade level, and Hard is seventh- and eighth-grade. You can play all of your games at one level, or each game at a different level of difficulty.
The navigation is pretty straightforward. The user is required to click on any “X” on the island. The user needs to enter numbers and be able to press the Enter key. The Help function explains the purpose of the adventure and how to play the game.
Mystery Math Island encourages individual or group learning. To be able to answer the questions students need to be able to read carefully and comprehend what they are reading. This game naturally helps students to improve their reading comprehension. In addition, students will develop skills in six areas – geometry, measurement, data patterns, problem solving, number sense and operations. The actual math questions were developed according to the national math standards. Mystery Math Island does record high scores and student progress for parent and teacher review.
I enjoyed using Mystery Math Island because it made math interesting and exciting for children to use. After the all, the end result was chest full of treasure and students would even look up math formulas to figure out the answers to the questions.
Stanislaus County Office of Education, California
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