Categories : Lesson Plan of the Week
Machineers is a machine-themed engineering puzzle game. Students assume the role of a robot that works as a “machineer”, an engineer specializing in repairing other machines. Each fixable broken machine is based on a crucial engineering concept: circuits, sequencers, switches and so on. Each machine encountered is more complex than the last, progressively offering more challenges.
Read on below for a quick look at the basic gameplay, one of the lessons available for the game and some additional thoughts on how to use the game in your classroom!
Playing the Game
Machineers consists of individual puzzles where you fix broken machines in Tivoli Town and tinker with them. Each puzzle features parts which you must assemble correctly to repair the machine. These contraptions are rather diverse: you get to fix a neon light commercial sign, a mechanical owl, a music box and more. The educational aspects of the game come from the components and their application. Only by understanding how each pulley, motor and sequencer works can a student hope to fix the machines and save Tivoli Town.
In the final segment of the game, students get to repair and drive their own simple car, often with hilarious results should the wiring be less than perfect. Trial and error help players to understand what each component of the vehicle is for.
This lesson takes a look at the electronic circuits of common household objects, namely flashlights and coffee machines. With the aid of switches, machines can be turned on and off as needed. In-game, puzzle hints are actually displayed as blueprints and diagrams, tying into the theme of the lesson. Even though the machines of this early lesson are quite simple, the components used - motors, sequencers, cogs, bands - are all crucial parts of many devices, including complex ones.
Machineers and Your Classroom
Machineers is a good primer for engineering. By solving puzzles built around real mechanical parts, students get into the mindset of analyzing, constructing and fixing simple contraptions. Machineers is suitable for late elementary and middle school teaching.
Machineers is available for educators as part of our TeacherGaming Desk subscription. Click here to find out more about the service!