Title: Star wars: Droid Works
Source: Saterlee Hall, Room 300
Playing Time: Unlimited. However,
in active game time, there is only 5 minutes of play.
Cost: $39.95 http://www.droidworks.com/
Number of Players: 1
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: Windows
CD-ROM or MAC CD-ROM
Subject Area: Scientific principles
Objectives: To teach the user about scientific
principles to overcome certain objectives in the game. Your mission,
is to infiltrate and stop an assasin droid factory.
Brief Description: This is an adventure
game as well as a construction set program. The player starts off
by designing his/her own robot from numerous robotic parts. They
build the robot depending on the task or terrain at hand. Then the
adventure game portion kicks into effect. Your new built droid is
deployed into an environment with numerous tasks to perform. These
tasks are performed by learning about scientific principles and applying
them to surpass certain obstacles. When you complete a mission, your
robot gets a higher ranking. This will allow you to get closer to
the assasin droid factory..
Entry Capabilities Required: One must
be able to follow close instruction to complete the scientific problems
presented to them. You are given the answer, so therefore you must
apply it to an obstacle as it presents itself. You must be able to
follow a sequence to perform certain tasks.
Relevance to objectives: I thought
this game was quite relevant to the objectives of teaching scientific
Maybe not as much as it could have been though. I would say that
it is much more an action adventure game rather than an educational
The actual educational content was quite informative. Plus one would
really have to pay attention to the scientific principles if they wanted
to get any where in the game. So all in all, I think it was
to the objectives at hand. The player did not just read a group of
information. The player needed to read, retain and apply his new
found knowledge into the program.
I found the game graphically stimulating as well as relatively
It was very user friendly and I felt it was a good idea to involve the
player by building his/her own droid. It gives you a little more
sense of control. I also felt that any educational software that
uses Star Wars to teach is a pretty smart way to go.
Provides practice of relevant skills:
The relevant skills that were practiced were memory work and how to manipulate
an object. One had to remember how to perform a task to move ahead.
Likely to arouse/maintain
I think that this game is very likely to arouse or maintatin interest.
Not because of the educational benefits, but rather the adventure game
aspect. The game is about 80% adventure and the rest is
Therefore the child will be more focused and aroused because he/she will
not think of it as an educational game. The 3-D graphics were very
pleasing to the eye and Star Wars seems to be just about the hottest topic
with the kids these days.
Likely to be comprehended clearly:
I think that this is a very user friendly program. There was not
a clutter of buttons or commands. The objectives were pretty straight
forward and the tasks were not overly complex. I also felt that they
did a good job in simplifying the scientific principles in order to be
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
I thought the technical quality was very good. It was relatively
flashy. However I felt there could have been a little more movement
throughout the program. I liked the graphics and the 3-D movement,
but I felt there could have been a little more interaction with other
But the quality itself, I would say ''very well done.''
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): The game is totally
dependent on player actions. You must get to the task first before
you can execute it. Once there, you must learn how to perform it
in order to complete it. You could try chance, but it may take you
a very long time.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): I felt that
the game was relatively realistic and an accurate depiction of a desert
environment. The objects remained in the realm of reason and the
robotic movements and all other movements seemed accurate to every day
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
Clear directions for play: The
were very clear. They were simple but not overlly simplified.
All the commands and objectives were clearly stated and easily accesible
before and during play.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
The debriefing was effective. When you finished the task, the game
would reward you with a new droid part and explain what you have accomplished.
If you failed, it stated that pretty simply as well.
Eventhough the game was in fact educational, it could have involved the
teaching process a little more actively. There were not enough instances
when the user could use his/her knowledge to perform a task.
Reviewer: James Dowd
Position: Elementary Education
Date: June 8, 1999
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh
PowerPC 6500/250, 32mb ram.