Hotel Heat

Common Sense Media says

Keep hotel guests happy with heat transfer.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
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16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's no true narrative. Players do try to provide hotel guests with a comfortable stay, though.

Positive role models

There are no fully realized characters in the game.

Ease of play

Minimal learning curve. Controls are point and click, and the game's mechanics -- controlling the flow of heat through pipes -- is intuitive.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No privacy and safety concerns. Once the game has been purchased, there are no other requirements for personal information and no in-game opportunities for players to interact online or reach social media of any sort.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hotel Heat is a fun and engaging learning game designed to teach the basics of thermodynamics and heat transfer. Players act as a hotel manager and must assign guests to rooms that match the temperatures guests request. It's limited in scope, however, so expect only 15 to 30 minutes of play and a basic primer on the learning content. It's primarily designed for classroom use, so there's no inappropriate content or violence.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Science

  • energy
  • physics

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • hypothesis-testing

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

With its quirky style and premise, Hotel Heat should suck students in immediately. The simple design lets students dive right in without much setup.

Learning Approach

Hotel Heat helps students experiment with -- and apply their knowledge of -- thermodynamics and heat transfer, two difficult concepts to practice. But students and teachers may be left wanting more variety.

Support

There are basic instructions, supplemental definitional text, and contextual pointers and tips (both for better play and conceptual learning) but no additional resources or extensions.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Science

  • energy
  • physics

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • hypothesis-testing

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Kids will learn about the scientific laws of thermodynamics and heat transfer. Since it's a brief game with emphasis on experiential learning, it's best integrated into a classroom where an educator can supplement game content and get kids drawing connections to scientific terms and concepts. Still, kids in any setting will get some exposure to thermodynamics in a package that feels less like school than similar educational games. Hotel Heat's quick and easy setup and fun hotel-management premise means kids will have a good time keeping hotel guests happy and learning how heat travels.

This Learning Rating review was written by Sol Joye

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What's it about?

HOTEL HEAT has students playing the role of a hotel manager trying to keep the temperature of rooms just right. It's the player's job to use the laws of thermodynamics and heat transfer to adjust the heating system to each guest's liking. Students who keep their guests through the night earn enough money to continue to the next level. If too many guests get fed up and leave, students must repeat the level and move heat more effectively throughout the building until each guest is satisfied.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It's a quirky game that embeds learning about heat in the unique context of a busy hotel with finicky guests. Learners of all ages will enjoy the hectic, frustrating, and fun process of keeping all their guests happy. Although learning is at the center of the game, it's limited. Kids likely will enjoy and learn from the first 15- to 30-minute play session but may not have much interest in returning.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss how kids see the scientific concepts from the game reflected in their daily lives. When have you felt or observed heat rising?

  • Families can discuss the type of heating and/or cooling systems in their homes and how they work. How could they be more efficient?

  • Families can explore new green, low-impact heating and cooling technologies and LEED systems.

Game details

Platforms:Linux, Mac, Windows
Price:$1.34 yearly per home, $12.00 yearly per class
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Filament Games
Release date:October 1, 2013
Genre:Educational
ESRB rating:NR for N/A (Linux, Mac, Windows)

This review of Hotel Heat was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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