NumBots – A guide for Parents


Children are welcomed to the game with an opening video, where they are introduced to the central character, “Rusty”. In the video, Rusty asks for help in his quest to find new parts to upgrade him to a diamond robot, so he can “shine inside and out, like a Diamond”. Next, the child will be able to choose a bot name they will play under, as well as their own robot character.


The game starts in ‘Story Mode’. There are 18 stages – from Rust to Diamond – and each stage is made up of a number of levels. Players start at Rust level 1 and, to unlock the next level, they need to earn at least 2 out of 3 stars. To earn the 2 or 3 stars required to pass the level, children must demonstrate a level of fluency when answering the questions. This means they must be accurate and timely with their answers; if children get 0 or 1 stars they need to answer more quickly. The game ensures that learners don’t move on to the next level until they show they are prepared for it. Story Mode starts with very basic maths (subitising numbers) and progresses steadily and rigorously to addition and subtraction of double-digit numbers.


When players complete Stage 3 (Tin): Level 35 in Story Mode, they will unlock Challenge Mode. Here they can race the clock to test themselves on how many questions they can answer correctly in one minute. There are 20 different challenges to choose from; each challenge testing a different skill, for example number bonds to 10, adding single digits or subtracting double digits.


For every maths question answered correctly, the child will receive coins to spend in the Custom Shack. Here, they are able to purchase new parts to upgrade and personalise their own robot character. As well as earning coins, children are kept motivated throughout their NumBots journey by collecting badges and winning trophies to reward their achievements.


We recommend children get 5 minutes a day four or five times a week. There will be times when they need your help understanding what to do (to help with that, there is an info slide before each level begins) or even with typing in the answers. They may need encouragement from time to time and they may benefit from being reminded that making mistakes is something perfectly natural. They could also reach a point in the maths that is beyond their reach for now; if it feels like they’ve reached a blocker, we’d recommended returning to earlier levels and trying to complete them with 3 stars. If they are regularly struggling to achieve 2 stars, it may be worth speaking to their teacher about possible strategies and asking them to change the Story Controls for your child, which will give them longer to pass each level.

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