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Mia's Math Adventure: Just in Time

Score: 90%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Kutoka Interactive
Developer: Kutoka Interactive
Media: CD/2
Players: 1
Genre: Edutainment/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Mia’s Math Adventure: Just in Time features a small mouse with a backpack that can hold just about everything, and who has a desire to learn and solve puzzles. Math Adventure's graphics are fairly good, the interaction between the characters and pre-rendered backgrounds are about average, but there is a noticeable switch in detail and quality when the game plays a movie. But this didn't really detract from my overall enjoyment of Just in Time.

As far as the characters themselves – they all have great textures and are full of detail and life, making these various critters seem to appear almost real. One odd problem which I noticed was the fact that the game didn't use my screen to its fullest. I'm not saying it was in letterbox, I actually tend to like that look. The game just didn't display as a full screen. I got the impression that I was looking through a window or at a picture with a really thick black frame (even after adjusting my resolution to 800 x 600). This was a bit disheartening and caused me to spend a bit of time trying to find a way to make the game use my whole screen instead of actually playing the game. After a while, I got past this and ignored the wasted screen, and instead got into the game.

The sound and music does a wonderful job of conveying a cheerful attitude to the situation, and does a great job of allowing the gamer to focus on the tasks he or she has to do. With its cheerful background music and sound effects, I really got the feeling I was in Mia’s world.


Mia’s Math Adventure: Just in Time starts off with a fire waking up Mia and her family in the middle of the night; the group of critters escape from the blaze just in time. The next day, Mia and her friend, Marty, decide that they need to build a time machine in order to save their home. Thankfully, one of the character’s uncles built such a machine a long time ago – and Mia just needs to gather a few more parts before she can go back and prevent the fire.

As Mia journeys across her yard, she will put numbers in order, associate shapes with different clues (like which shape is an open figure, or which looks like the sun, or which is symmetrical to a given drawing), following directions, basic arithmetic and algebra and much more. In Just in Time, Mia will meet many different creatures, from her friend Scary the Spider, to Freddie the Frog and Robotto, a small robot left in the inventor's lab. Each character that Mia meets will help her in one way or another, and eventually she will discover exactly what (or who) caused the fire.

There is an adventure aspect to Math Adventure that allows the gamers to focus on more than just the math. Along the way, there are several obstacles that Mia will have to overcome, and she will use objects that are lying around the yard and house in order to solve these problems. Yet, kids won't have to figure out exactly how to use the rock to fling Mia across the yard, they simply have to give it to her. This is a great way to make sure the game moves on to the next math-based activity, while also making sure the child doesn't get frustrated over a smaller-obstacle, or simply all-mathed-out.

One feature that I think really makes the Mia line really stand out is the ability to jump to any activity across its two discs (even before you have encountered it in the story). This allows young gamers to go straight to an area that they need to work on, instead of going through the same story over and over again.


Mia’s Math Adventure: Just in Time has four difficulty settings (numbered 1 through 4). Each level has tougher problems, and more complex equations. When you start the game, you can either choose between the four options given, or enter your age and the game decides what level you should be at. If you feel like the problems given are too hard or too easy, the level of difficulty can easily be adjusted in the Options Menu. Just in Time is a good game for young minds to practice their basic math skills. And its difficulty levels seem to fit those needs just right.

Game Mechanics:

Mia’s Math Adventure: Just in Time uses a standard 'point-and-click' system for interacting with the world, but it also uses a unique 'follow the cursor' system that allows Mia to move about on the screen without you having to click every location you want her to be at. This made a big difference in the feel of the game. In most point-and-clicks (especially in the edutainment area), the character sits in the middle of the screen and just stares at you. Here, Mia will walk around as you move your mouse, in order to find different objects and places where you can go (almost as if she is looking in those places as well). This follow-the-mouse feature helped make Mia come alive, but there were many occasions when I would click on something for her to interact with it, and she would just walk in circles a couple of times in order to get in just the right position. Thankfully, most of these faults were solved in more recent games under the Mia title, like Mia’s Language Adventure: The Kidnap Caper. But even with its flaws, Mia’s Math Adventure is a good game to get kids into a wide variety of mathematical subjects.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, XP; CPU: Pentium 233MMX; RAM 64 MB; Video: 640 x 480 (256 colors); Sound: 16-bit Sound Blaster or 100% compatible; CD-ROM: 6X; 40 MB of Hard Drive disk space.

Test System:

Toshiba Satellite series laptop; Windows XP Professional Ed.; 2.0 GHz Celeron; 512 MB RAM; 24X DVD/CD ROM; 32 MB 3D accelerator.

Microsoft Xbox Madden NFL 2004 Microsoft Xbox MVP Baseball 2004

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated