Review: Contraption Maker – “The Incredible Machine” lives again!

As a kid one of my favorite games was “The Incredible Machine.”  I spent many an hour figuring out how to make a hamster launch a rocket to turn on a blender.    The beauty of this kind of game is that it encourages open ended problem solving skills.  There is a large set of puzzles which provide a gentle learning curve and that introduce new concepts and possibilities.  Some students love having a prescribed problem to solve while others are driven by their own curiosity and creativity.  Since this is basically a whimsical physics sandbox it is an activity which requires some structuring if you want to use to to introduce specific scientific principles like gravity, mass, density, velocity, changes in state etc.  This reboot offers multiplayer functionality which is a collaborative environment in which students would need to foster good digital communication skills and learn self control as they work together to build a machine – a challenging but worthwhile venture.

This app has a “Gold” rating on the WineDb which means there is a good chance I can run this in our linux Lab using Wine.  I can’t wait to give a shot.  Of course we already have the original running great in Basilisk but this one looks like a fun reboot and the multiplayer aspect offers another great opportunity for my kids to learn how to work together in a collaborative space where one’s actions affect everyone else.

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