Title: Food Chain
Playing Time: 4 minutes
Cost: $ 9.95
Number of Players: one
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed:
Macintosh compatible computer with 68040 processor or higher
System 7.1.2 or later
5MB free RAM
9MB free hard disk space (10MB for trialware version)
Subject Area: Science
Objectives: Objective is to show students
the delicate balance necessary for a longterm food chain to exist.
Brief Description: Four different creatures,
each with different eating capabilities, are put on the playing board.
Playerr chooses the placement of new indivicuals to maximize the number
of eatings, yet still maintaining at least one individual of each species
on the board. The game ends when one species becomes extinct.
Entry Capabilities Required:
Relevance to objectives: 3 For younger
students, up to 6th grade, this program should work well. For higher
grades, the simplified level of the species inteeractions would be indadequate.
Colorful graphics and interactivity make this program a good tool for
students to the topic of food chains.
Provides practice of relevant skills:
3 This aspect is fairly good. The player must plan ahead and foresee
consequences of moves.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: 4
Graphics are good, and the level of interactivity is also high.
Likely to be comprehended clearly: 3
Both a manual and a tutorial are provided. However, the instructions
could be more specific.
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
Good quality overall. I experienced no problems using this program.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): 3 While much
of a player's success depends on skill, chance does affect the outcome.
The creature to be picked is generated by the program, not the player.
Also, grass patches and floods are included sporadically.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): 3
As previously stated, this program greatly simplifies the principle it
illustrates. I would like to see more variability in the species
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
Winner of Apple Design Award for Best Macintosh
User Experience; Finalist in 1st Annual GDC Independent Games Festival
Kids Domain Gold Award Winner
Clear directions for play: 3 Some
aspects, such as turning creatures, were not well explained. But,
these can be figured out fairly easily during play.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
3 Scores are presented after each eating, as well as at the end of the
game. The scores are clearly linked to success in the game.
Longer food chains result in higher numerical scores.
This is an extremely simplified representation in which all predators and
prey are equal. Some important concepts, such as the pyramid shape
of the food chain, are not represented.
Reviewer: Paul Westall
Position: GRED 518 student.
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh
PowerPC 63 233, 64mb ram.