Elegy For A Dead World  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Elegy For A Dead World  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network PC games for the classroom https://www.gameskinny.com/ijj7k/pc-games-for-the-classroom https://www.gameskinny.com/ijj7k/pc-games-for-the-classroom Sun, 23 Aug 2015 18:03:52 -0400 Clint Pereira

Educational games are a huge market, but they have always been a bit on the boring side. Not to say that there aren’t a lot of fun educational games out there. A lot of the best educational games fly under the radar.

Here are a few games available for purchase and download that are both fun and educational. Feel free to browse or click on your preferred subject below.

  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Languages
  • Math
  • Science: Biology
  • Science: Chemistry
  • Science: Physics
  • Social Studies
  • Tech Ed.

 

English

Elegy for a Dead World

Write the story of a world as you explore it. Great for students who are strong in visual/spatial learning.

To Be or Not To Be

A choose-your-own-adventure parody of Hamlet. Yorick skulls mark the way Shakespeare intended in his original play, and the Haml-o-meter shows you how close you were to the original story... or not. The game encourages you to choose your own path and congratulates you for writing a better story than Shakespeare if you stray from the canon tale. It's a little like Hamlet fanfiction.

Scribblenauts Unlimited

Players are given a task and have to write whatever they think will solve the problem. Anything you write will come to life inside the game. Encourages a large vocabulary and creative problem solving.

 

Geography

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?


The classic sleuthing adventure has been adapted into a Facebook game. Aside from actually travelling to the different countries, there's no better way to learn geography than to track down the criminal mastermind herself. Carmen Sandiego Returns is also available for Windows 8. 

 

History

Crusader Kings II

Though there are many historical strategy games out there (a good percentage developed by Paradox), Crusader Kings II is one of the rare few that goes deep into cultural history, discussing not only historical figures and events but also inheritance laws, religious influence, and a hierarchy of titles that varies by country.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War

In-game collectibles unlock encyclopedia entries and act as a sort of virtual museum for World War I. The contextual information adds to the immersiveness and heartbreak of this story based on a tragic conflict.

 

Languages

Influent

Influent is a simple game where you walk around a house and find the items being asked for in the language of choice. There are 16 language packs and counting. Recommended for beginning learners.

 

Math

The Counting Kingdom

Be a mathemagician! This puzzle defense game requires players to solve problems quickly if they want to defend their castle from harm. Filament Games also offers student accounts and a curriculum for teachers. 

Number Munchers

I'm including this game out of nostalgia, though I can only find it available on the iPhone and iPad. A classic educational game with simple mechanics. Eat all the numbers that fit the given formula while avoiding other monsters that are out to eat you!

 

Science: Biology

Plague Inc: Evolved
 

Your goal? Kill everyone in the world. But it's not as violent as it sounds.

In Plague Inc: Evolved, you view a map of the world and try to evolve a virus so that it can travel across species or in frigid environments, causing an ever-growing number of symptoms. An interesting study in environmental adaptation and how epidemics grow and spread.

Crazy Plant Shop

Use punnett squares to blend plant genetics together and make new kinds of plants to sell to customers. A fun way to learn genetics, a subject that is widely considered one of the most difficult parts of biology 101. Filament Games also offers student accounts and a curriculum for teachers. 

Agar.io

While Agar.io may seem like a dumb distraction, this game contains the building blocks of natural selection. Tactics include hiding in brambles to avoid large predators, riding underneath a larger blob’s belly for protection, traveling in a herd to avoid complete decimation, and then just simply being the biggest blob at the top of the food chain. You might want to turn on the "no names" setting to avoid any bad language.

 

Science: Chemistry

Sokobond

According to the Sokobond trailer, “it's the best chemistry-themed 2D indie puzzle game where you're trying to make molecules… since SpaceChem.” At the completion of each puzzle, the game provides information about each molecule formed.

 

Science: Physics

Universe Sandbox
 

Mess around with the universe and see how physics works on a truly astronomical scale. Universe Sandbox 2 is currently available in alpha.

Kerbal Space Program


A space flight simulator with adorable green men who talk like Minions. Gameplay includes floating through space, achieving orbit, and safely landing your spacecraft.

Portal 2

Use portals to mess with both gravity and reality. There's also a level editor. Visit teachwithportals.com for lesson plan information.

Osmos

Feel all the inertia with none of the drag. Learn about Newton’s laws of motion as you try to stabilize yourself. Learn about the laws of conservation as you spit out all your energy trying to move faster.

 

Social Studies

SimCity 4

Learn about government, taxes, and the importance of infrastructure.

Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)

Created by indigenous-owned developer Upper One Games, Never Alone is a quiet and beautiful platformer exploring the culture and mythology of the Iñupiaq, an Alaskan Inuit people.

During the game, the player collects “Cultural Insights”, which are educational videos prompted by contextual events. For example, after encountering the arctic fox in the game, a video is unlocked teaching the player about arctic foxes. When a cold gust of wind blows, a video is unlocked about Iñupiaq clothing.

 

Tech Ed.

Poly Bridge

A physics simulator about building bridges. Includes a steady learning curve that teaches the basics of construction.

The Incredible Machine

Another classic. Essentially, a Rube Goldberg machine simulator. Players complete challenges or use the level editor to discover cause-and-effect relationships.

Minecraft

Minecraft is, at its core, all about exploration and procedural learning. Given its popularity, though, the community has created working calculators and replicas of entire cities with the game. Teachers, too, have come up with such services as MinecraftEdu and Club Minecraft.

What other educational games can you think of? Share with us in the comments!

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IndieCade 2014: News, Trends, & Titles https://www.gameskinny.com/fvv20/indiecade-2014-news-trends-titles https://www.gameskinny.com/fvv20/indiecade-2014-news-trends-titles Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:00:57 -0400 Auverin Morrow

IndieCade, the largest independent game festival in the US, is gearing up for its fifth year. October 9-12, industry figures and general consumers alike will gather in Culver City, CA to attend professional conferences, business networking and social events, tournaments, and meet-and-greets with game creators. Most importantly, they'll get the opportunity to test play more than 150 games, spanning all genres and platforms. (This even includes tabletops and LARPing games.)

This year, IndieCade boasts 151 independent titles. Of these games, there are 35 official nominees that were previously selected as the best and most exciting titles of the year. Let's take a look at the prevalent trends among the competitors, along with some notable games to look out for. 

Nominee Trends

1. Puzzle Games

Just under half of this year's nominees have incorporated puzzles into their games. These puzzles come in all forms, from mini-puzzles that unlock new areas to complex puzzle that help further the storyline.

In Fract OSC, for example, the player must solve musical puzzles in order to rebuild machines. But Ice-Bound requires the player to piece together fragments scattered throughout the game in order to create or reveal the storyline. 

Fract OSC boasts graphics as stunning as its music.

2. Multiplayer Games/Features

Like puzzle games, multiplayer games (and games with multiplayer options) are dominating the nominee pool this year. This includes cooperative (team) and competitive (PvP) formats. From MMOs and MOBAs to multiplayer mobile, handheld, and tabletop titles, gaming seems to be becoming an increasingly more social activity. The sheer number of multiplayer titles both in the nominee arena and the general pool reflect a high demand for games that offer social features.

These features, however, are taking really unique forms in this year's competitors. Choice Chamber, a dungeon crawler, allows multiple players to give constant feedback (via a chat fuction) that changes how the game plays out. It was designed specifically to be played live on a stream service like Twitch, so that all participants can choose to either help the main player along, or create a challenge to slow them down. 

Another interesting take on the multiplayer function comes from Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. In this virtual reality game, one player straps on an Oculus headset to find him/herself trapped alone in a room with a bomb. Other players in the real world have instructions to diffuse the bomb, but are unable to see it. All players have to cooperate in order to neutralize the threat. 

Choice Chamber takes live-stream audience interaction to a whole new level.

3. Choice/Exploration/Narrative

Several of this year's nominees opted for adventure games over action ones. With the advent of titles like The Walking Dead, which focus heavily on storytelling, it's no suprise that we're seeing a considerable number of games that mimic this style: lots of story, choice, and exploration with few to no combat/action sequences. 

Example: Ether One.

In this title, you assume the role of someone who struggles with dementia. You must rebuild your memories by exploring the world around you and solving puzzles. There are no enemies to fight. No missions. No levels. Only the search for answers and the story that unfolds. The game even offers a second mode that removes all the puzzles, making it a full-fledged exploration experience. 

Some games, like first-person explorer Private Eye, are using the Oculus Rift's virtual technology to further immerse the player in an exploratory, interactive, story-driven experience. 

4. Intellectual/Philosophical Games

With the wild success of games like The Stanley Parable, we've seen an influx of games that make you ponder ideas or simulate relationships, storylines, etc. for the purpose of intellectual observation. 

Coffee: A Misunderstanding is a short, interactive role-playing experience meant to simulate the awkwardness of online friendships when they're moved into a real social context. 

On the opposite end of the "thinky-game" spectrum is How Do You Do It?, where players step into the mind of an 11-year-old girl who attempts to understand the mechanics of sex with the help of her two plastic dolls. The game is meant to be a simulation of how one of the developers actually explored sexuality as a child.

Guided by their phones, audience volunteers act out Coffee: A Misunderstanding

5. Virtual Reality & Experiential Games

The final notable trend among competitors this year is use of both virtual reality technology and real-life installments/exhibits to create a holistic player experience. Developers are pushing to immerse players as much as possible in their games in order to get the most out of them. Sometimes, this is just to enhance the playing experience. Other times, it can actually give players a new understanding of certain issues/environments, as well as challenge them to act in ways they normally wouldn't. 

Several of the virtual experience nominees went with the latter goal - like Soulfill, the "mobile-assisted live action role-playing game" that uses audio/touch gestures and text instructions to encourage the user to make eye contact with strangers on public transportation. 

Use of Force went for a similar immersion experience, but as a virtual reality documentary. Using virtual reality goggles and a full-body motion tracking system, players are transformed into eyewitnesses of police brutality committed by the US border patrol in a recreation of real events. 

Use of Force allows players to witness a recreation of actual events. 

General Submissions - Trends & Notable Titles

Trends in this pool overlapped with those in the nominee category. Lots of multiplayer and competitive games, as well as interactive experiences. However, the general pool had a surprising number of LARP submissions (about 1 in 10), as well as several lighthearted comedy games. 

Games to Look Out For:
  • Anamnesisa first-person explorer. The player is a FEMA agent visiting a temporary shelter to learn why some of the tenants have lost contact. The Oculus Rift serves as a second display that players may use to examine objects in the world. In the game, the specially designed goggles allow you to see the "psychological imprints" left by the tenants. Using them, you explore multiple narratives in the process of your investigation. 
  • Elegy for a Dead Worldanother explorer. You are a poet who must write about three different worlds, each inspired by a British romantic poet (Shelley, Keats, and Byron). Then you share your experiences with the universe. Other players read what you write and assess it. The more the real world appreciates your writing, the brighter the stars will shine in the sky above your homeworld. 
  • Hyper Light Driftera multi-platform 2D action RPG. This title uses 8-and 16-bit graphic schemes, but with a much larger world and more modern mechanics. You are charged with exploring a vast, ruined world that holds both lost technology and unfathomable danger. 
  • Sundera 2D co-op platformer. Players wear color-filtering glasses, so they can each look at the same screen, but see a different world. Players must cooperate and communicate verbally to solve puzzles and tear down enemies. 

In Sunder, color-filtering glasses make this distorted image look like two distinct worlds. 

Don't miss out on the festivities!

If you're in the Culver City area or are willing to travel, tickets to IndieCade are on sale now. Although you'll be too late to get the earlybird deals, you can still snag a pass at standard rates or student rates (if you qualify). All-Access passes start at just $495, while festival-only passes run $30-40 per day, or $90 for all weekend. 

If you can't be there in person, you can stay updated on all the happenings via the official IndieCade Twitter and Facebook pages. 

What IndieCade titles are you excited for? Tell us in the comments!

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