Science-based games - a collaborative list
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LICENSE.md CC0 dedication Jul 17, 2017
README.md 4d toys Aug 4, 2018

README.md

Science-based games

The list is essentially about educational based games that nailed entertainment (with a focus on scientific phenomenon). - mettamage on HN

Here is a collaborative notepad with educational/science games, i.e. games that are:

  • capturing parts of real scientific phenomena (including social science, medicine, etc),
  • actually playable (you can play them for fun, not ones "for classroom only").

So in general, ones that may make you say I played X for its own sake, yet I've learnt how Y works! for Y being advanced enough.

This is a collaborative list dedicated to the public domain (CC0), where everyone is welcomed to contribute! See: how to contribute. It was started, and is being maintained, by Piotr Migdał (the author of Quantum Game with Photons).

A mini table of contents: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Health, Mathematics, Sociology and economy, Humanities

Games

Physics

Velocity Raptor

Agent Higgs

A slower speed of light

Chromatron

Kerbal Space Program

Delta V

Bond Breaker

Meqanic

  • www.meqanic.com/app
  • quantum computation and quantum information
  • puzzle / blocks
  • web (free of charge), iOS ($)

Relativity Wars

Quantum Game with Photons

Quantum Marble Maze

Quantum Moves, Quantum Minds

  • www.scienceathome.org/games
  • adiabatic processes for quantum states
  • puzzle / action
  • citizen science
  • Quantum Moves (free of charge): GNU/Linux, MacOS, Windows, Android, iOS
  • Quantum Minds (free of charge): MacOS, Windows

The Electric Shocktopus

High Frontier

Osmos

  • www.osmos-game.com
  • gravity and conservation of momentum
  • puzzle / action / strategy
  • GNU/Linux ($), MacOS ($), Windows ($), Android ($), iOS ($)

HelloQuantum

Chemistry

Covalence

Ion

Biology

Cellcraft

Cell Lab: Evolution Sandbox

Meta!Blast

Foldit

  • fold.it
  • protein conformation
  • 3d puzzle
  • citizen science
  • GNU/Linux, MacOS, Windows (free of charge)

Pathogenesis

Evolution: the origin of species

Cytosis

Linkage

Peptide

Virulence

Digestix

Bios: Genesis

  • boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/98918/bios-genesis
  • players start as organic compounds shortly after Earth's formation
  • create autocatalytic life and Darwinian life
  • Players can play cooperative, competitive, or solitaire.
  • board game ($)

Crescent Loom

Computer science

Turing Game

Spacechem

Code Master - The Ultimate Coding Board Game

Colobot

TIS-100

  • www.zachtronics.com/tis-100
  • programming
  • multiple very constrained CPUs + communication
  • SpaceChem-style optimization
  • GNU/Linux ($), MacOS ($), Windows ($)

Shenzhen I/O

Opus Magnum

Robozzle

Human Resource Machine

Hour of Code

Decodoku

Cube Composer

Untrusted —or— the Continuing Adventures of Dr. Eval

Factorio

  • factorio.com
  • simulation building
  • collect resources and design factories
  • automate all aspects of factory production
  • Windows ($), Mac ($), GNU/Linux ($)

Infinifactory

Google Turing Doodle

WarriorJS

Health

Lifesaver

  • www.life-saver.org.uk
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • interactive video story, fast-paced
  • web-based (Flash) (free of charge)

Vax!

Mathematics

SET

A game of numbers

HyperRogue

HydraSlayer

  • www.roguetemple.com/z/hydra/
  • arithmetic, a bit of number theory
  • a rogue-like game
  • GNU/Linux, MacOS, Windows, Android (pay-what-you-want)
  • license: version 17 and Android version GNU GPLv2 (code on homepage); version 18 appears to be proprietary

Mathbreakers

  • www.mathbreakers.com
  • arithmetics
  • 3d adventure game
  • GNU/Linux ($), MacOS ($), Windows ($) with free of charge demo

Euclid the Game

Euclidea

  • euclidea
  • planar geometry
  • web, Android, iOS (free of charge)

Engare

Refractions

Havel-Hakimi

4D Toys

  • 4dtoys.com
  • playing with 4-dimensional shapes
  • Windows ($)

Sociology and economy

Peacemaker

  • www.peacemakergame.com
  • Israel-Palestine peace process (unfortunately outdated and too optimistic)
  • strategy
  • Android ($), iOS ($), Kindle Fire ($), MacOS ($), Windows ($)

Democracy 3

Parable of the Polygons

Humanities

philo: socratic games

  • gregkarber.com/philo
  • simple 2d platformers (puzzle, not - action)
  • philosophical concepts, fallacies
  • web (free of charge)
  • CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license

Socrates Jones: Pro Philosopher

Snakisms

Life experience games

There are a few games that feel somewhat related (even if not that much science-based). I (@stared) considered putting them in psychology/sociology, but it turned out to be a controversial issue. Again, what is crucial - it's not about only about theme, but game mechanics aligned with experiencing a difficult life situation.

Depression Quest

  • www.depressionquest.com
  • living with depression
  • text-based game (with choices based on energy/motivation - even though other options are visible)
  • web (free), Steam ($)

This War of Mine

SOMA

  • somagame.com
  • existentialism, transhumanism, mind-uploading
  • survival first-person perspective
  • PlayStation 4, Windows, OS X, Linux
  • Steam ($)
  • (this one even more subjective, just one allowing to feel some philosophical problems)

Bonus

(prototype) Grounded: Circuits

  • sjbyrnes.com/1235
  • electric circuits
  • 'hydrodynamical' simulation
  • web (free of charge)

(side note) Vim shortcuts gamified

If it is possible to gamify such seemingly boring things as learning keyboard shortcuts, then the sky's the limit!

Meta

How to contribute

Content

The easiest way is to edit this file, commit and create a Pull Request.

Remember to include:

  • working link (and its nicer version), e.g. [immunology-fps.edu](https://immunology-fps.edu)
  • field of science or engineering, e.g. immunology
  • type of game first-person shooter
  • (optional) technology or system, e.g. Android, iOS, web
  • (optional) link to additional materials (e.g. repo, some interesting blog post about this game)

A game needs to fit this category and it needs to have science-based mechanics (not only theme!) as its major part as:

Any sufficiently advanced game is indistinguishable from a science-based game. - PM, HN comment

Also, for games from typical genres, the bar is much higher. It is not enough that "you learn about ancient warfare" or "you explore outer space". As a rule of thumb, mainstream games don't fit here (with the exception of Kerbal Space Program).

When a game is free (as in freedom, not price), the license and code repository will be stated when possible. Please note that unless otherwise stated, the game is proprietary or a license can't be found.

Form

If you want to change its form, you are invited as well - but then create your fork (and I would be happy to hear about it!).

All remarks, questions or discussions go to https://github.com/stared/science-based-games-list/issues/ (or @pmigdal Twitter).

Ideas