Learn Science

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Learn Science Game Poster Image
Below-average educational game for a narrow audience.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Learning activities are turned into games, making science and education fun.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A pair of young hosts provides direction and encouragement from one activity to the next.

Ease of Play

Games have multiple difficulty levels designed for ages six to nine. Younger players can try harder activities, but will encounter a warning notifying them that they might be better off sticking with easier skill levels. Most of the activities can be understood by older players without resorting to the optional text instructions provided. Parents will likely need to help younger kids get started with most activities, explaining how to play or reading trivia questions.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Learn Science is a budget educational game designed for kids in grades one through four. Players answer trivia questions, solve simple physics puzzles, and work through science-themed games. It’s not quite as overtly educational as other games in this category -- the pedagogical value of some activities is dubious -- but younger elementary school kids will likely come away having learned a thing or two about their world. Older kids will have no trouble figuring out how to play by themselves, but younger players will likely need the help of their parents to understand what to do in certain activities and read trivia questions or instructions.

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What's it about?

LEARN SCIENCE provides a variety of educational games and activities in five categories: physics, colors and sounds, the human body, biology, and geography. Examples include arranging organs in a human body, directing laser lights around a stage with mirrors, and guiding a falling ball into a basket by setting up platforms and pegs. Players can choose to try these games individually or work through a “career” mode, which sees them trying a handful of new games each day. Performance statistics are kept for both individual games and the career mode. A third mode dubbed “TV Quiz” has players answering a short series of science-themed trivia questions. Regardless of mode, players can choose from three difficulty levels that are meant to roughly correlate to grades one through four.

Is it any good?

There’s no getting around this game’s mediocre production values. Text errors are especially egregious. Players can expect to encounter some strange phrasing and typos, such as a trivia question and its corresponding answers worded and punctuated as follows: “When crickets rub their wings? They?re cold. They?re happy. They chirp.”

Most of the non-trivia challenges are short and have little replay value. A few activities -- such as one that involves filling beakers with different levels of water to alter their acoustic properties to match a given melody, and another that has players flipping switches in a tangle of wires to turn on the proper appliances -- are fun to play once or twice, but not more. It’s unlikely any kids who have experienced more compelling interactive entertainment will be interested in what’s on offer here for very long. There are many much better educational games.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how science is used both in our casual lives and our careers. Can science be fun outside of a game? Do your teachers make science enjoyable in the class?

  • Ask kids what they learned from this game. Have you come away with a better sense of geography, how our bodies work, or how physical laws govern our world? Do you think there’s anything the game’s makers could have improved upon?

  • Do you like playing educational games? Do they help make the learning fun?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Dreamcatcher
  • Release date: January 2, 2011
  • Genre: Educational
  • ESRB rating: E for (No descriptors)
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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