The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox motivates students to study by asking them multi-choice questions during turn-based combat encounters.
Flamehawk Studios’ upcoming game, The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox, looks to breathe new life into educational gaming. The turn-based role-playing title will allow players to customize their character, explore a large fantasy world, and engage in dynamic combat. While the genre is perhaps underutilized, educational games can be a great tool for classrooms by allowing students to engage with interactive systems which also push knowledge and comprehension.
While purely educational video games have become more and more rare, many modern titles do contain educational elements or game modes. For example, the survival sandbox title Minecraft is accessible for all ages, making it a perfect tool for teaching. Many elements of the beloved blocky game, such as item crafting and Redstone programming, can be useful within an educational setting. The Assassin’s Creed series of open-world historical fiction games can also be a valuable educational tool for a history student. While the franchise’s various installments feature frequent displays of violence, making them unsuitable for a school setting, Assassin’s Creed‘s educational Discovery Mode removes combat to instead emphasize the historical figures and landmarks being put on display.
A new trailer posted to YouTube shows off the educational mechanics found within The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox. The game, which was crowdfunded via Kickstarter, hopes to redefine educational gaming by making a title that both thrills and teaches players. Deep character customization ensures that players are able to transport themselves directly into the game, with highly inclusive options for characters with prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, vitiligo, heterochromia and more. A large open world, inspired by real-world North American locations such as Kerhonkson, New York, and Jasper, Alberta, can be freely explored by players.
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The most educational part of The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox lies in the game’s unique turn-based combat mechanics. Attacking an opponent requires players to answer a multiple-choice trivia question, with topics ranging from simple physics to the order of our galaxy’s planets. Succeeding in combat earns loot, which takes the form of additional cosmetic items. The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox also allows players to assemble a squad of companions, such as wild creatures or robots, to aid them on their journey. A free demo of the game will be available during Steam NextFest, between October 1 and October 7, on Steam.
While only educational video games typically have an open place in the classroom, many gamers are now pushing for esports to become available for students. A partnership between Nintendo and PlayVS was announced back in May 2021, with a goal of making Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Platoon 2 available as varsity sports options. Nintendo and PlayVS, an official platform for youth esports, reportedly donated Nintendo Switch consoles to over 3,000 across the United States in order to make these games available.
The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox looks to perfectly blend accessibility and education, making it a valuable video game for use in the classroom. Young gamers will likely be drawn to the title’s character customization, open-world design, and flashy combat encounters. Meanwhile, the turn-based trivia system will ensure that players are motivated to study the associated material. The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox can even be tailored to specific grade levels or subjects, making it easy for educators to apply it to their own curriculums directly.
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The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox will release on Steam in Winter 2021, with a demo arriving between October 1 and 7.
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