Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Timez Attack Helps Kids Have Fun Tackling Math Times Tables

By Jacob Gutnicki

Timez  Attack WindowsSeveral weeks ago my son came home very excited. “Daddy, daddy, daddy. Do you know about Timez Attack. I replied, “No I do not. What is it?” My son said, “It teaches me times.” A little later that day, I downloaded/installed the software and watched my son play this game. Within a few minutes, I understood why this game had much appeal. The game is very motivational, as it has a cast of characters that includes dragons, robots, caves laced with lava, and other types of visuals that will appeal to the typical 8-year-old child.

At the same time, it is an educationally sound game as it properly displayed 3x3 as 3 groups of 3. There were also other features that met my liking. For example, at different intervals the game would use traditional reinforcement strategies. More importantly, I am glad to see that he is both enjoying the game and learning his math facts.

Interestingly enough, he is fully aware that the game is attempting to teach him multiplication. In fact, prior to starting a game, my son usually announces in a newscaster voice, “Its time to learn times with Timez Attack.” Naturally, like any game, learning opportunities should be enhanced by having the participating adult ask the student questions or provide instruction if applicable. Having said that, I am glad that my son is excited about learning multiplication and kvetched me to download Timez Attack. Now if I only can find him a game to teach division…

Here is an overview of the game:

And if you were wondering...
The base version is TOTALLY FREE
The free version teaches all the facts, 2 - 12


  1. This is a great teaching tool. It truly connects to the students' lives. I teach middle school math and find that some students still do not know their multiplication facts. this is a tool that I can recommend for those students.

  2. Thanks for sharing. That is great to hear.

  3. Even though this game is effective with teaching children their multiplication, I would use this game with older students (4th- 6th graders) who still do not know it. There isn't enough time in the classroom to be using ALL the games and tools available to us, and that's why I wouldn't necessarily use this game teaching third graders. Of course, if students play this game at home, and maybe even at a younger age, that would be incredible. That's why I would definitely suggest it to parents.

  4. I think Timez Attack is a fun way for children to strengthen their multiplication skills. It is a game that drills the skill. It is very repetitive, making it possible for the child to catch on as they play an excel in the game. I also found it helpful that the computer game takes into account how fast the questions are answered, and which examples the child got wrong. At the end of the game, if it feel that it did not pass, will force the child to practice some more before advancing to the next level.

  5. I honestly can’t say that this game is the best way to learn times table. In fact I think that it is easily forgettable and the game is played just for the purpose of playing a game. I think this game is better played as a way to review the multiplication rather than learn it. The multiplication problems are timed, and there is no explanation on how to do the problem it self. It is definitely a great way to review and confirm the knowledge of the presented material.
    Diana M

  6. This is a great game that definitely drills the times tables. Also, after further discussion I agree with the fact that the groups of 2's or 3's or 4'sis a great representation of multiplication. This is a very good game to use even during class for those students that are finished with their work. If there are students that are doing exceptionally well that day or finish their work, their reward could be a few minutes at the computer table. This game is great because it gets straight to the point of the times table. At home, I would suggest to use this game and the Mia game if available because problem solving is great, but the background story is not always time feasible during a school day.
    However, in today's world it is getting very hard to compete with the DSi, Wii, Xbox, playstation and so on. Being a first grade teacher and hearing my students reference these games in writing and speaking as often as they can makes me think why haven't the creators made some educational games that are just as addictive as the action games for younger students.

  7. As stated in the article, when a child is interested and engaged in a game that is educational, it is important for an adult to ask the child questions and also help the child when needed. When a child is excited about something and there is also a learning component involved, one should encourage a child to play that game and try to help them along with their learning.

    After being able to play Timez Attack, I believe that it is a great and fun resource for kids to learn multiplication. Not only is the setting, (a dungeon), fun for kids to play in, but the multiplication is done in such a way that children learn how to group together numbers in order to solve the problem, which is a very important skill for them to learn.

  8. This a great tool for teaching young children.It is interactive,motivating and and also fun. More importantly,it is a medium that the students of the 21st. century are familiar and comfortable with.


  9. I love that your son knows it's educational and still loves it!

    After playing the game, I can say I see the appeal. It motivates a kid to learn his/her facts and to do them quickly. Also, it does allow kids to make a mistake. If you get an answer wrong, you are not immediately sent to the beginning. In fact, if you get one wrong, it gives you the same problem again. This allows students to correct their mistakes. If you miss it many times, you are sent back to relearn it.

    I say relearn because the game shows the multiplication by adding groups. I am glad that it not only helps students memorize facts, but helps students come away from the game with a strategy that will work in class.

  10. Timez Attack is a fun game that has kid’s practices their skills in multiplication. The game effects are pretty cool and will definitely have young children involved while keeping their attention. When we played the game in class, I first felt it would be more suitable for boys considering there were dragons, monsters, and took place in a dark dungeon. However, after reading descriptions of the game, I found out that the creators updated some characteristics of the game. There are now palaces, princesses, robots, etc. Enhancements such as these will have young boys and girls interested in the game.

    Timez Attack is very educational in the way that it provides the users with reinforcement of their multiplication skills. The only thing I found somewhat negative was the way you need to move around the game. It was difficult for me in the beginning to have my character move around the dungeon by using the keyboard arrows. There was also a lot of repetition, drill and practice, which can become annoying at times because you are doing the same thing over and over. As you move on from level to level, I believe with the new advancements the creators have made, you are able to do more exciting tasks in the game. I would use the updated version of this game for my students in the classroom and let parents know about it so they practice at home as well.

    John I

  11. I struggled with navigating my character through the tunnels mainly due the fact that I don't have much experience with video games. Other than that set back, the mathematics aspect of the game was great. It’s a good aid for practicing multiplication. I would definitely recommend these games.
    Anastasia Roberts

  12. I think this is great software to have. I had the opportunity to play the game and I think it is very good. The game has a mystical feel to it which I am sure keeps students on the edge because there could be something lurking around. This game enforces multiplication facts and students will enjoy going from level to level while learning or reviewing their facts. This game could be used as a great incentive for students to learn their times tables. I found the game a little repetitive but it works for students because they need the repetition. The graphic are good too.
    Stella Delmas

  13. That is amazing!A video game that teaches multiplication. I don't know any kid who doesn't love video games. This game should be in every home and school.
    Victoria Veksler

  14. How do you change your character???

  15. As I stated last week this is a great tool for children to use. Children today don't understand what being a kid is. All they do is play video games. Technology has taken over and children today have cell phones at age 10. When I was a kid we didn't even know what a cell phone was. I don't think I got my first cell phone until I was 14. Yes we played video games but it wasn't like it is today.
    They are so fascinated by video games and having this be a video game that teaches multiplication is great. They could learn about math and do what they love the most...play a video game. This is definitely a software that parents and teachers should use to help children learn math. It is fun and educational. Some students need something other then lectures to understand the material and this website is definitely a great one to use.
    Nancy Mandarino

  16. What a great idea! I have recently been working with 8 grade students who have failed the 8th grade city math test and are retaking it in August. It is amazing to see that most of these middle school students only know their times tables through 5. With a game like this, young children will not only learn their multiplication facts, but ENJOY learning them. I was even engaged while first trying out this game! The visual and sound effects will keep kids engaged. After listening to the overview, I found it fascinating that the creators of "Timez Attack" also created other Play Station games. I will definitely use the free base version of "Timez Attack" with my elementary students!

    Christina Ferrara

  17. This is a great game for students to play in class and at home. It definitely provides students with valuable facts while they move from level to level. Students are able to practice what they have learned in a way that is not boring. This is a very appealing educational game that will certainly maintain students interested. Educators and parents should keep in mind that although this game is great, it should not be used as the only way of instruction. It should be used as a supplement. G. Torres

  18. Timez Attack is fun to play and it has great graphics with the look, sound and feel of a real video game. It reminded me of the Dungeons and Dragons video game. Also, from what I could tell, it's focus was on helping the child learn their times tables (I didn't try out the division part.) Therefore, it was great to see that a child could use it to learn and have fun at the same time.

    I chose the third grade and I did ok maneuvering through the pre-test. I had some trouble moving my character around and sometimes I wasn't fast enough typing in the answer. Then, I really got lost on the post-test. I solved a few problems and then I was running around trying to find more problems to solve. I really should've read the directions for this part.

    I did like that the game reinforced both problems that I had answered correctly as well as drilled me and helped to understand how to do the ones I had answered incorrectly. It's great to read that Prof. Gutnicki's son enjoys playing the game and enjoys learning his times tables using the game.

    I appreciate that Prof. Gutnicki pointed out that we can't just sit the child down with the game and expect him or her to rely 100% on it. However, we have to sit down with the child and ask "questions or provide instruction if applicable" in order to make sure that the child really understands what he or she is doing and to make sure that the child is really grasping the concepts.

  19. When I downloaded Timez Attack, I could not believe my eyes. It is a free download
    program that looks well-made, and I can imagine that students can become involved and have a good time with this software, which combines the learning and game concepts together. When I showed the game to my 2nd grade daughter, she was excited to
    play the game in the beginning. However, she quickly withdrew from the game because she could not answer the multiplication questions in time.
    She has not learned the multiplication table in school yet, and therefore, she was not fully ready to use her math skills to attack the game. I agree with what somebody else posted in a comment. I also feel this game is useful to review the individual’s math skills, but not to teach new skills. Keiko Shari

  20. I am not really a big fan of videogames, but I downloaded the free version of “Timez Attack” and I was addicted! I played for an hour and could barely get myself off. It is such a fun way to reinforce the multiplication tables. It assessed my knowledge of the times tables in the beginning and then reviewed the multiplication that I already knew. As I made my way through each level, it introduced me to three or four multiplication facts that I initially got wrong in the assessment. When I encountered the monster, I was afraid to get the multiplication facts wrong, so I made sure to remember the facts! It was both scary and exciting at the same time! I think the repetition is a great way to reinforce the difficult multiplication facts. This is a very educationally stimulating and enjoyable game! It is much better than the usual drill and practice that we currently use to teach the multiplication tables. I will definitely use this game to reinforce multiplication skills to my students in the future. I love it!
    -Alla Priemyshev

  21. This is a great gaming tool...even I had fun playing it! At least 20 minutes had gone by while I was busy exploring and I didn't even notice. I could only imagine how engaging this would be for children, not to mention educational. This is the first online math game I have seen mimic a video game so closely. The prevalence of video games in children's lives today is so strong that many of them need games like this to motivate them. A great feature is also how the game gives review problems in order to help students achieve mastery of their facts-this step is critical. Just like you stated in the article, your son was aware of the fact that it is teaching him his times tables and he was excited about it. Thats the beauty of games like this- students are aware of what they are learning and they are truly enjoying it in the process. That is the sign of a great piece of educational technology. I would definitely implement this into my classroom as well as recommend it to parents so children could play at home as well.

    Courtney Weiner

  22. Wow! The music, the graphics, the whole package really caught my eye. I am impressed. I started to explore a bit. I only have been on the demo and plan on checking out an actual game. The video intro was impressive. As my brother said "That is the first time I would actually consider purchasing the full version, just because they are not trying to push you to!". This is something that will get students to practice and learn math while really enjoying it. What I also thought was clever, was that if some errors were made, it did not stop the door from opening, or the bridge to come down, which would discourage kids. Nor did there seem to be a time limit, allowing time for thought. I will share this game with others.
    Vanessa McMellon

  23. I love the fact that it is clearly educational but fun for the children.It encourages the children to learn their multiplication and get the answers quickly. Children will enjoy the challenge of going from one level to another

    Marlon Campbell

  24. I think this is great. The school I currently teach in, uses one specific program for math and english reinforcement. It is the same program/similar questions every single time. They are in there once a week for each subject. My students grow to hate it, they never want to go because it is so repetitive and boring to them after one or two visits to the lab. It would be great if there were more programs like this one of the computers and they weren't restricted to just one. This could be used as an incentive in my own classroom for my younger students.

    Kimberly Braga

  25. I love this site. As a mom trying to reinforce multiplication with her 9 year old son and prevent summer loss, this is a great tool. In the realm of PS3 and the Wii games, this allows these games to have the "cool" aspect. Students are actually having fun learning.

  26. This is similar to what we discussed in class yesterday. Games are a great tool to teach children math, especially when they do not bore the students and too closely resemble classroom lessons. I'm happy that your son loves it. I think it would be rare to find any child that doesn't!

    Ayesha Long