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Crazy machines – Boosting creativity and teaching physics in a playful way

crazymachines early childhood

 

My very first review is dedicated to a game that made a lasting impression on my when I played it at the age of 6 (back then on a Windows 3.11 machine). The original game was called ‘The incredible machine’, the remake and current subject of this game review is named ‘Crazy Machines’.

The game puts you in the role of an inventor. The player gets various tasks from his professor, which look like this: You are presented with a scenario (lab setup) and a goal (like get the ball into the basket). You can click on a ‘Run” button to see what happens when physics are enabled. Usually, some balls or ropes will drop and that’s it. This tells us that the current arrangement of tools and machinery in the lab is not working to fulfill the goal. It is up to the player to rearrange the elements in the lab and add new if necessary to get it to work. There is not one perfect solution to a problem but multiple ways to reach the goal. It can involve a lot of trial and error, which is very entertaining because results of tinkering can be run immediately.

Crazy machines actively encourages players to come up with creative and diverse solutions to problems, while at the same time conveying an understanding about the laws of physics. The game has won multiple awards (e.g. iParenting Media HOT Award) and has already a sequel and several mobile versions. It is really fun game for everyone (ESRB rating: Evreyone), especially for curious people who like(d) spending time playing with Lego bricks.

 

 

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