Menu toggle

Adults, Science

Transmission by Loju

transmission_0006_Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 14.50.30.png

This smart looking game takes players on a journey from the humble telegraph through to cellphones and satellites in a series of increasingly fiendish puzzles based on a simple click and drag mechanic. The aim is to transmit packets of data between specific points based on the quirks of each method of communication. Easily digestible learning tidbits are sequenced between levels and while you may not remember it all, the basics of data transmission will stay with you. Superb sound design adds depth to the pared back visuals and the in-game feedback is also top notch.

Why we love it:

  • A distinct, highly polished look and feel.
  • Easy to start playing but plenty of depth for the pros.
  • Gorgeous responsive sound design.

Get it for iOS or Android or Online

Untrusted by Alex Nisnevich

untrusted

Untrusted is a lo-fi adventure game which challenges you to escape from a series of increasingly cryptic puzzle rooms by editing the very code that is running the game in your web browser.

With its atmospheric electronic soundtrack and authentic ASCII-art aesthetic, Untrusted evokes the feel of classic cyberpunk literature and hacker culture, while also helping players improve their programming skills. There has been a wave of games exploring programming concepts recently, but what makes Untrusted stand out is its focus on getting players to really think like a programmer. With a strong emphasis on reading unfamiliar code and modifying it through the creative use of a limited set of commands, the game helps budding coders to develop the core problem solving skills that are transferable to any programming language.

Why we love it:

  • Retro aesthetic gives the game an authentic hacker feel.
  • Open-ended design means there are many solutions.
  • Modifying code makes you think like a programmer.
  • The game’s code is open source and downloadable.

Play it online

The Great Brain Experiment by White Bat and The Wellcome Trust

2

The Great Brain Experiment is a Wellcome funded mobile app for android and iOS with a welcoming and friendly art style that hides its serious scientific purpose.

The app packages up a number of psychological tests as a mini game compendium and record the player’s every move, thereby gathering a wealth of information useful in the study of Neuroscience. The games themselves are simple tests of both dexterity and perhaps more importantly, character. They test things like how you deal with pressure, whether you are a risk taker, whether you are impulsive and a number of other character traits.

Why we love it:

  • High production value for a free app.
  • Interesting game mechanics that test more than dexterity.
  • The chance to take part in a ground breaking MME (Massive Multiplayer Experiment).

Get it for iOS or Android

Kerbal Space Program by Squad

d1ueb (1)

Kerbal Space Program is a game where players of all ages create their own space program. The aim is to help the Kerbals to conquer space by building and flying rockets. NASA has partnered with the game on a special downloadable mission pack and KerbalEdu, a cooperative, school-friendly version of space exploration sim Kerbal Space Program, was launched late last year. KSP is still under development, but we can’t wait to see what the team come up with!

Why we love it:

  • Cute characters backed by hard science.
  • Open sandbox promotes learning through experimentation.
  • The demo version is free, and will remain so forever.

Try or buy it here

Full Steam Ahead by Aardman Animations & ss Great Britain Trust

fullsteamahead

Full Steam Ahead is a game in which you design and build steam-powered ships in the spirit of Brunel. Gameplay is goal-focussed, with the player being tasked to create increasingly complex ship designs to meet ever more challenging criteria. The game gives the player the freedom to experiment, with ‘design tips’ orientating the player towards success. A simple currency system and strong art style round-off a very solid product.

Why we love it:

  • Game rewards experimentation.
  • Tip system scaffolds learning.
  • Strong art style.

Download for free now for iOS or Android or play it online

Fraxinus by Team Cooper & The Sainsbury Laboratory

fraxinus

In the UK Ash trees are being attacked by a serious disease leaving some of the country’s few remaining ancient woodlands in serious danger. Fraxinus is a Facebook game that uses the tree’s real genetic data, and challenges the player to manipulate patterns to match sequences. The game capitalises on human’s capacity for pattern recognition and gives scientists a helping hand sorting the genome of the Ash tree in pursuit of a cure for the disease.

Why we love it:

  • Strong social network integration.
  • Very accessible version of this type of game.
  • Moreish and meaningful.

Play it on Facebook

Sokobond by Alan Hazelden and Harry Lee

sokobond

Sokobond is a block-pushing puzzler about chemistry. Rather than being a direct simulation, it inspires further exploration of a sometimes daunting subject. A tutorial-free introduction immerses the player in experimentation as they try to figure out how different atoms bond to make molecules, without being prescriptive or dull. The visual design is beautiful, clear and refined, distilling the essence of the gameplay and learning into a triumph of simplicity. Critically acclaimed for good reason!

Why we love it:

  • A worthy tribute to Japanese classic Sokoban.
  • Clean art style.
  • Gradual and organic learning.

Download it for Mac, Windows & Linux