Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Discovery Learning: Games Designed to Let you Fail

Games can sometimes provide us with opportunities to fail. It is this failing that allows us to learn. This is necessary in order to improve our next attempt and our next, until we get it right. Some of the most interesting games come without any instructions at all and mean that the very nature of the game itself needs to be discovered. This fits in perfectly with how kids use and embrace new technology - no one read the instructions - they just press the buttons until they work out what they all do. Here are some great games that allow kids to fail and in the process learn to learn.

Feed the Head: $1.99 AU
This has to be my all time favourite game. Prod the Head. Tug the Head... but most importantly, Feed the Head. Like a living cartoon, the Head will unfold and transform in surprising and hilarious ways. I won't give away too much, it is guaranteed there is no other iPad app quite like this one. Trial and error without any instructions. It is fascinating to watch a student with this app. Why can my students do this so much easier than me?

Where's My Water: $0.99 AU
Swampy the Alligator lives in the sewers under the city. He is a little different from the other alligators — he’s curious, friendly, and loves taking a nice long shower after a hard day at work. The other alligators have damaged his plumbing and disrupted the water flow. Help Swampy by guiding water to his shower! Great ability to retry both the develop solving skills and to improve score.

Room Break: $1.99 AU
Room Break is an adventure game about escaping. The purpose of this game is simple. Users will be detained to certain situations and they need to open the door of each room and escape. Obviously, users need to figure out how to open the doors. Maybe, there are some unexpected tricks hidden. But, it is not difficult at all, if you pay attention a little bit more, you will be able to find out all the hints.!!/id463700550?mt=8

Crossfingers: FREE
A unique game which challenges you to combine solid pieces in a gigantic tangram puzzle. You will need to exercise your brain, imagination and - unique for a puzzle game - your reflexes and dexterity to complete all levels. The full version contains 390 levels,  for unlimited replay, the Arcade Mode, which puts you in the middle of a frenetic machine where the challenge is to survive and beat the top score.

Doodlefit: FREE
The task in Doodle Fit is simple: fit the given sets of blocks into the given shapes. Drag the blocks into positions in search for the layout that covers the whole shape. A level is complete when all blocks have been used and there is no more space free in the shape. Once you start playing you won't be able to stop! Many levels with different shapes and even more different solutions in total for replayability.

Drainworks: FREE
Splash into the world of Drainworks! 48 unique levels await you, challenging your dexterity and your puzzle-solving skills. Drainworks boasts realistic water physics, an original soundtrack, Game Center leaderboards and a host of achievements. Twist, touch and push your way through 4 distinct worlds to collect runaway water - do it quickly and without losing a drop for maximum scores.

JellyCar: FREE
JellyCar is a driving/platforming game for both iPhone and iPod touch. The game is about driving a squishy car through squishy worlds, trying to reach the exit. JellyCar features soft body physics for all of the objects in the world. Also your car can transform for a limited time to aid progression through the level. So hop in, start your jelly engines, and find the stop sign!

Geared HD: $0.99 AU
Geared is a radically new and innovative puzzle game; a unique addition to its genre. The first and only Gear-based game with absolutely no snap-grid. Geared delivers complete and total freedom to the player, bestowing every puzzle with a near infinite array of choices. Pit your intellect against 200 uniquely designed levels, original to this game. 200 levels of addictive gameplay.

7 Little Words: FREE
If you enjoy crossword puzzles, word finds, and anagram games, you're going to love 7 Little Words! Each bite-size puzzle consists of 7 clues, 7 mystery words, and 20 letter groups. Find the mystery words by deciphering the clues and combining the letter groups. 7 Little Words is fun, challenging, and easy to learn. You've never played anything like it before. Give 7 Little Words a try today!

Touch Physics: FREE
Draw shapes with a crayon that come to life. These shapes interact with the wheel, causing it to move according to physical laws. When it reaches the star, the level is complete. Are you up to the challenge? Touch Physics Lite is an innovative game that allows you to be in control of the wheel's destiny. Change the laws of physics to suit your game! Beware, this is not as simple as it sounds!


  1. Nice collection of apps.
    Perhaps one can also have a look at Laws of Physics app on iPhone

  2. These games can be really addicting once you got hook because it plays you a strategy that can never be resolved. Good work for the developers.


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