What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although Tikiquations looks like a typical casual puzzle game, it features far more complexity and learning content than the design lets on. Kids starts by moving fruit around but quickly progress to balancing chemical equations. It starts out easy enough but gets tough, and it helps take away some of the intimidation kids may feel when confronted with chemistry.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- problem solving
- solving puzzles
Engagement, Approach, Support
It's plenty of fun, but getting stuck might lead to frustration.
It does an excellent job of blending learning and fun by connecting the balancing of chemical equations with casual game mechanics.
Although the game's character does offer suggestions during play, the advice is usually far too general to be of use; later levels could use more instruction.
What's it about?
Two cartoon animals want fruit to eat, and it's the player's job to solve the puzzle to balance each animal's feast. Eventually this fruit conceit fades away, and the player finds herself balancing chemical elements instead of fruit.
Is it any good?
TIKIQUATIONS provides a clever and nonintimidating way to introduce kids to the difficult concept of chemical equations. With the proper support from parents and teachers, this game can make a big difference in mastering some tricky material, especially for kids for whom chemistry is scary or seemingly too hard. Unfortunately, the difficulty increases quickly, and if the player hasn't fully grasped the underlying concepts, it might become too hard. The game's characters do offer advice but rarely the sort of guidance that would make moving ahead more fun. Still, for those who get it, it's a quick, fun experience that can help bring fearful new chemists up to speed.
Families can talk about...
Discuss why it's important to balance chemical equations.
Explore how people traditionally learn to balance equations, and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a game-based approach.
Check out Sokobond, another puzzle game that tries to make chemistry more playful.