Saturday, January 14, 2012

FREE Physics Game Online: Steampunk

My son will be doing several physics classes this semester, so I'll be trying to supplement them with some additional physics at home.  I recently found a fun game to practice some of Newton's laws, and with a stylish theme to boot!  Plus, it's a FREE online game, so the price is right.

The game is called Steampunk, and so it has the Victorian-era-meets-high-technology look about it.   The aim of the game is to break pieces of wood in such a way that they release balls, explode bombs, swing pendula and the like to move the GOOD pentagonal-shaped guy to safe ground and the BAD pentagonal-shaped guy to unsafe areas (like the water and gears, etc.)  The components move in the ways predicted by Newton's law, so it is a good way to model concepts like momentum and such.

The game is not designed to teach physics, nor does it say anything or explain anything about Newton's laws or other concepts in physics.  However, playing around with the movement puzzles presented does develop an intuitive feel for Newtonian physics.  It also requires systematic thinking and the ability to plan ahead (if I blow up this, it will release that ball, but I have to wait until that board swings into place for the ball to move to the next level, ect.)

So it's not Victorian-era rocket science.  But it is a fun game to model and test your physical predictions.

You can play the game by clicking here.

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