Homo Machina

App review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Homo Machina App Poster Image
Unique, artistically fun look at functions of human body.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Inspired by artwork of artist Fritz Kahn, the game gives basic explanations for how the human body works by comparing it to a well-regulated factory, complete with workers responsible for its day-to-day operation (fun, if not biologically accurate).

Ease of Play

Simple controls; players tap on key points to activate certain actions. Difficulty comes in some puzzle elements, which challenge players to be more observant and play around with a little trial and error to figure out what's required to move forward.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Homo Machina is a puzzle game available for download on Android and iOS devices. Inspired by the work of artist Fritz Kahn, the game reimagines the inner workings of the human body as a mechanical factory. The subject matter and game style try to give players a better understanding of the complexity of the human body's actions on a typical day. The premise is simple to grasp, and the controls are easy to pick up and play for all ages and skill levels. That said, some puzzles are more difficult than others, especially due to the lack of direct instructions. Many times, players need to experiment to find out what they can interact with and the process involved to come up with the required solution. There's no inappropriate content.

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What's it about?

Based on the work of artist Fritz Kahn, HOMO MACHINA reimagines the human body as a factory that's filled with machinery and workers that operate together to run the body's daily routines. Whether it's clearing the nasal passages to catch that first whiff of coffee in the morning or operating complex neural pathways to trigger movement, there's a dedicated workforce keeping busy to make sure the body can handle everything life tosses its way. You'll need to work quickly to keep things running efficiently -- and work carefully to keep things running correctly. Think you've got what it takes to run a human body?

Is it any good?

When everything is working right, it's hard not to think of the human body as a fine-tuned machine, with all its different parts working in concert to get you through the day. That's the premise behind Homo Machina. Each everyday bodily function is run by a crew of factory workers, and it's your job to help them complete their tasks. These jobs are puzzles that test both your brainpower and your reflexes. Some are simple, and some are much more complicated.

The catch is that you never quite know what you're getting into ... literally. There's very little in the way of hints or instructions throughout the game, so many times you're left on your own to figure out exactly what you need to do to progress. In spite of this, Homo Machina is a fantastic game that not only teases the mind but also encourages you to think about and learn more about the fascinating functions of the human body.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about games' educational value. What are some ways that people can learn from mobile games like Homo Machina? How do games encourage players to extend their learning beyond the scope of the game?

  • What are some methods that artists have used to express certain lessons or knowledge throughout history? How can skill in a creative field help make others aware of subjects they may otherwise ignore?

  • How does the body in Homo Machina work compared to the way the human body actually works? How can you learn more about how the body functions?

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For kids who love puzzles

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