A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! puts teens in the role of a mayor whose tasks include a variety of real-world environmental and pollution challenges. Progressing through six missions, players solve problems by reading textual descriptions of an environmental issue and applying correct textual answers. Players also engage with causal loop diagramming and large-scale city planning in their virtual towns.
What's it about?
SIMCITYEDU: POLLUTION CHALLENGE! features six missions that explore the effects of pollution and other environmental issues on cities. Each mission involves three to five "challenges." Based on the SimCity engine, the game presents real-world environmental challenges, such as how to create more jobs without causing more pollution and how to get all kids to school by planning the most efficient use of bus stops.
Is it any good?
SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! is a fantastic platform for kids who love simulation and city-management games and especially for those who have a passion for environmental issues. Kids can practice problem solving, systems thinking, and managing informational diagrams. Even better, they get to see how various forms of pollution affect the real world. Kids face increasingly difficult challenges (packaged in missions) that require them to create flow charts, solve environmental problems via textual evidence, and manage a town from a top-down perspective. The interface elegantly displays the overall pollution level, population happiness level, electricity coverage, and business traffic, helping kids make decisions and plan their cities.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about environmental strategies. What are the roles of technology, engineering, and planning in reducing human impact on the environment?
What are some trade-offs associated with commercial growth and pollution?
What are the complex needs and impacts of living in big cities?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading comprehension, text analysis, using supporting evidence
Social Studies: global awareness
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, problem solving, thinking critically
Responsibility & Ethics: learning from consequences, making wise decisions, respect for others
- Pricing structure: Free to Try, Paid, Free (Free for individuals; $25 to $1750 for class/school license packs)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: GlassLab
- Release date: November 7, 2013
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: NR for No Rating
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.