Review: Smart Multiplication visualizes core concepts but lacks depth

Slash and learn the basics of multiplication in this smartly-built, but ultimately lacking math app.

Smart Multiplication uses visualization tools to teach the core concepts of multiplication in a well-designed, but restricted educational tool. It starts off well, but quickly shows its limits in terms of menu modes, unlockables, and other features that are not immediately available to players.

The basic idea of Smart Multiplication is to visualize how it works. The classic diagonal slash method that children have been taught in school for decades is used here to show how the numbers interact with each other; and a well-designed interface, combined with well-executed tutorials, make for an easy-to-follow start to the app. The higher-level content, unfortunately, is locked out at first--only available with an in-app purchase. The app works on many levels, however, especially if your child is just learning how to perform multiplication problems. The ranking and sharing tools are also nice additions to keep children engaged with the app after the first wave of problems is completed.

Smart Multiplication does a lot of good things, and as a result it is a solid app for anyone first learning their multiplication tables. However, as the app advances, it shows its limitations--something to keep in mind as you determine the best tutoring apps for your children on the iPad.

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