The beautiful thing about math is it’s universal. There’s only one right answer and it’s the same in any language, which is the beauty of this smartphone app from German developer Ahoiii starring a cartoon sea captain whose native tongue is unintelligible to your kid. No, Popeye isn’t doing algebra these days. His name is Fiete, and he’s a friendly, funny, adventurous German sailor man who will never try to convince your kid they like spinach.
He’s the mascot and star of a series of apps, the latest of which teaches your kids to play with numbers through open-ended experimentation with digital blocks and objects rather than a bunch of math problems. Kids play through more than 1,000 tasks to help the friendly pirate load ships full of cargo and ship it around the world, unlocking medals, bigger ships, and new countries along the way.
Fiete Math follows the same formula as Ahoiii’s other games like Fiete Farm, Fiete Match, and Fiete Choice, a logic puzzle game that won a RedDot Award for Best Of The Best Game Design. All of them are visually engaging, funny, open, untimed, and have sound effects and music that won’t make your brain explode. The developmental and educational value comes through simply as a result of repetition and free play. All the kids have to do is have fun, which is sort of the point of being a kid.
If it helps, you can think of Ahoiii like a German Toca Boca, although Fiete prefers to think of himself as a unique individual. Not that he’ll get all mad about it and try to whoop your ass for making that suggestion, though. He’s not that kind of sea captain.