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Physicus

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:

GAME DEVELOPER:Heureka-Klett

GAME PUBLISHER:Tivola Publishing

Copyright 1999, Heureka

Physicus is an excellent adventure from Heureka-Klett that truly lives up to the “edutainment” billing. The editorial review at Amazon.com says it all about this little-known underdog:

“A collision with a meteorite has stopped Earth from rotating on its axis! Now half of the planet is turning to a ball of ice while the side facing the sun gets hotter… and hotter. If the planet is to survive, you must generate enough electricity to power a giant impulse machine, the only device that can get the planet rotating again. The only problem is with the impulse machine’s electrical generators–not only are they scattered throughout the world, none of them is working correctly.

Physicus is a first-person role-playing game in the style of Myst, designed for players aged 10 and older. Players click through a nearly endless series of gorgeously rendered scenes, scanning any stray objects they find and using them to repair and activate the electrical generators. The key difference between this and similar games, though, is that all the puzzles in Physicus are based on solid scientific principle.

Fortunately, you do not have to be a wizard in optics, Newton’s principles of motion, or any other aspect of the physical sciences to play this game. The expert is provided for you, in the form of a virtual laptop, which can guide you through your world-spanning task. Within the laptop, the fundamental concepts of physical science are laid out in a clear and entertaining format, complete with diagrams and animated illustrations. This banquet of information is broken into bite-sized morsels for younger players, and is available for access at any point in the game. What’s more, the game is very well cross-indexed, with links to the correct sections of the laptop appearing whenever a puzzle presents itself.

Physicus is one of the rare educational games that genuinely have it all: great story, super graphics, and truly interesting puzzles. Visually, it melds a lush Victorian retrotech sensibility with hardcore educational content. The first-person interface gives the players the opportunity to fully imagine themselves in this complex adventure. Engaging enough to hold the attention of adults as well as younger players, it makes an excellent shared project for a parent-and-child team.” A truly outstanding title that should appeal to both fans of traditional point-and-click adventure, and anyone looking for a good way to learn about physics. The game is also one of those that probably slipped under the radar for most adventure game fans, due to its billing as a “children’s title” ;) Highly recommended!



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