City of Materials

Website review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
City of Materials Website Poster Image
Fun game teaches science through forensic investigation.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Kids are encouraged to make discoveries and connections as they explore each area of the City of Materials. With careful attention to detail, they can solve the mysteries while learning interesting science facts. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that older kids will love spending time in City of Materials, but there's a lot of reading required to gather evidence, which may frustrate younger kids or less advanced readers. Also, kids can play City of Materials anytime, but they'll need to create a user ID and provide an email to save their progress and play continuous games.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old March 11, 2013

City of Materials: a educational website

This is a educational website for ages 10 & up. I love this game! I play it every day i have time. Basically, it's where you work with materials. Y... Continue reading

What's it about?

Kids learn about materials science by playing games, doing at-home experiments, and exploring other interactive tools. Kids can tour the CITY OF MATERIALS and choose to investigate crimes by working at the Austen Detective Agency or the Griffith CSI Lab. Within the city, they can also visit the Science Center, a museum with rotating exhibits, talk to locals, or do a little shopping. Outside the City itself, there are more ways to interact with the world of materials science, including Materials Radio and the Colleges and Careers tab.

Is it any good?

There are so many layers of play and ways for kids to learn about science here. The City of Materials game world isn't huge, but it's easy to navigate and find activities to suit your kids' interests. Don't worry about City of Materials exposing kids to upsetting or gory crimes; they include a dognapping, a pair of mysteriously broken glasses, and a local laboratory sabotage. The focus here is on how materials and science can be used as evidence as well as the forensic skills needed to investigate and solve crimes. The site is chock-full of fun tidbits and doesn't miss any opportunities to share science info; even the game loading screens offer interesting factoids while kids are waiting. Kids get direction and keep track of things on their own in-game smartphone, which they'll love. These little details make City of Materials a truly engaging science resource. Who knew materials could be so fun?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the heck materials are; everything around us is composed of materials considered metals, ceramics, polymers, or composites. Kids can have fun identifying and discussing the items in their world: spoons, bicycles, rocks, cameras, books, and more.

  • Families can talk with their kids about crime and the people who devote their lives to solving it, which, as City of Materials teaches, definitely includes scientists.

Website details

  • Genre: Educational
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate