Wuzzit Trouble is a free, math based app intended to help students with their math and problem-solving skills. These little creatures called wuzzits are trapped in little cages, one per level. The cages are located in the center of what looks like a giant combination lock/gear. Small gears are located at the bottom of the giant gear with varying numbers of spokes. There are varying numbers of keys located on certain numbers on the giant gear. In order to free the wuzzit, the player must rotate the little gears in such a way as to land on the keys’ numbers. The fewer moves the player needs, the more points he or she earns. Game play is very simple and straightforward, but the farther into the game a player gets, the more complicated the combination gets, with some extra icons providing bonus points and others subtracting points.
According to Common Sense Media, this app is geared for anyone ages nine and up. The simple cartoon look is friendly and inviting, and the simplicity of the game design adds to the app’s charm, so I could definitely see the app appealing to a broad range of people. It also has the added benefit of being largely ad free. There is a link to the app store in the “For Families” section, but other than that it lacks the consumerist drive that so many apps have.
Common Sense Media also gives this app an overall rating of 4 stars: 4 stars for engagement, 3 for learning approach, 3 for support, and 4 for quality. I would largely agree with those ratings, though I am somewhat doubtful regarding the learning approach rating. Common Sense Media’s reviewer, Debbie Gorrell, has this to say about the learning approach, “Learning is integrated with gameplay, challenging kids to build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Scores, prizes, and trophies motivate kids to improve on previous attempts.” Personally, I think this is the kind of app that those who already like math and can understand it would enjoy, but I’m not sure how useful it would be for teaching those not previously inclined towards math. The puzzles could certainly help increase and speed up logic, problem-solving, and basic arithmetic skills, but only if the player is willing to spend a great deal of time working through all the challenges.
Wuzzit Trouble is compatible with any iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone that runs iOS 4.0 or later, and any Android device running Android 2.0.1 or higher.