iPhone App Review: Grid Loch (Numeracy)

iPhone App Review: Grid Loch (Numeracy)

July 8th, 2011 by

Brain training style games are great fun, and handy for those times you feel like playing a game but don’t want to feel like you’re wasting your life away. They usually provide some basic gameplay where you have to read some instructions and choose the answer from options presented on the screen, and can take many different forms. In Grid Loch, the problems presented are all in the realm of numbers and math, with three levels of difficulty to challenge children and adults alike. There are also a few minigames sprinkled throughout the app to give your mind a break from the intense mental workout you will be giving it.

How It Works

After starting a new game you must select the difficulty. Beginner seems to show mostly easy-to-understand number-related puzzles that have to do with basic addition and relationships between numerals and collections of objects. Advanced is all about fractions, compound numbers, and other fairly advanced mathematical topics, rather than just numbers and relationships. Intermediate is somewhere in between the two I reckon, I admit to not reviewing too much of that level of gameplay.

Gameplay is divided up into areas of the land which you are exploring on your quest. As you answer questions correctly your score meter fills up, finally opening the gate to let you progress once you’ve filled it completely. You can select a character at the start of each level to assist you in your quest, although that character’s assistance seems limited to simply being feedback on whether or not you’ve answered the question correctly, via facial expressions.

Questions asked are along the lines of “Tap the number closest to 40” or “Tap the column that has the most fruit” in the beginner stage, to “Tap a 3-digit number and type it in words” or “Drag a number to 9 days to make a product that will be fewer days than a month” on the advanced level. Sometimes you simply tap multiple cells and hit Submit, sometimes you must drag one or more cells onto another, and other times you must type numerals or numbers written as words. There are sometimes also multiple correct answers to a question, and you may have the opportunity to give more than one answer and score more points. If this happens, the grid will scramble itself and you must remember not to enter the same answer again, or the game will move onto the next question.

You can answer questions quickly in an attempt to earn the bonus points, or skip answers that you don’t know (but the game will warn you if skipping more answers will cost you points). Mini-games come up randomly during gameplay and give you a quick break from the mental action and allow you to earn more points.

Pros And Cons

Grid Loch is a universal app for iPad and iPhone, which scores it points for being able to play it on the large screen at home or on the small screen on the go. The questions are a good mix of math questions and number questions, which believe it or not are each a distinct category of question and keep your mind alert and interested.

While the app is generally well-made and has a good mix of questions and answers that are suitable difficult for their assigned levels, the grid sometimes does not make sense. For instance, you will often be given an opportunity to answer a single question multiple times, which works out well with a question like “Drag a number to another number that is 10 more” (I’m paraphrasing, I don’t recall the exact wording of that question). You may drag 10 to 20, then the grid jumbles, and you drag 1 to 11, etc. If you give you the same answer twice then the game moves on to the next question.

This type of multiple-answer doesn’t work well with a question like “Tap the number that is closest to 30”. You tap, say 29, then the grid scrambles and you tap… 29 again, immediately ending the question. I don’t think you are penalized for this type of answer, but it’s clumsy coding and should be accounted for in the game’s design. If there’s only one answer, only give me one chance to answer, otherwise it gets confusing (especially on the Beginner level, which presumably is used primarily by children).


Grid Loch (Numeracy) is a great math and numbers game that has questions appropriate for adults and children alike. With attractive graphics, good sounds and music, and a huge depth of questions (I never saw the same one twice) it’s a good addition to anyone who enjoys these types of brain-training games, or for anyone who wants their children to play something more educational than Pet Zoo.

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