I'm only on level 4 but I trust this is going to be just a fantastic game. I love being able to learn or just reinforce useful information while playing something, and this is also very well designed, and well written. 5/5!
Firstly I just want to say that you are the first nominee for best of march that I've actually considered voting for. Now then, this game is simplistically fantastic. From its simple concept to its mellow music I'm in love with this game. Believe me when I finish with the nominees (52 to go, why did I agree to this?) I am coming back to this one. The way you make something so advanced from something so simple is nothing short of phenomenal. I love this game and I don't even like physics puzzlers. The way electron guns switch from necessity to obstacle is fantastic. The combination of both logic puzzling and finesse is beautiful. In conclusion, the amount of innovation that comes in this small package is amazing and definitely worthy of its best of march nominee status.
I'm kind of a physics nerd myself, so this, I could enjoy! Nice!
Fantastic idea and implementation for a game! I love the science/educational aspect of it. It's like you're exploring a game world (most games are like this), except it's based on real physics and chemistry, so you're really exploring the *real* world.
I've played other science based games, but this one is *by far* the best. Honestly, that's all I have to say in terms of a 'review'. Good game. Good science. Play it! :-)
To the creators:
There are a couple of minor game aspects which did annoy me, though. First, if you try the challenge levels immediately (say the Atoms challenge levels), it brings you off the 'tutorial' path, and you can end up missing a lot of the tutorial info about the game mechanics, and also places the science 'lessons' in the wrong order. I would recommend that on the player's first play-through you don't offer the challenge levels in between sections, but instead have them 'unlocked' after the player finishes the main levels. Many games operate this way, and in this particular game it would keep things in a better order for the player.
Second, I can't find a way to get back to the 'learn more' text for a particular completed level aside from re-playing the level again. I think you should make it *really* easy for people to get back to those notes without having to go through the level again. That's kinda the whole point of the game, IMO, which is to 'unlock' or discover/collect these great nuggets of information. Perhaps you could even have them all collected into one interface, like adding notes into a notebook which you can go back and review at any time in the future.
Whoever was in charge of deciding to try making this game: Really great idea! Please make more games like this, or at least spread the word to other science organizations that this is a fantastic way to educate the public about your work, and science in general. I really think this is a hugely rich vein of possibilities for great and innovative games, and the more people understand and appreciate real science, the better off our whole world will be, IMHO. Thanks so much for this game. Everyone involved did an excellent job!
Wow - thank you for taking the time to write such thoughtful feedback! (I passed on the last part to the the person at CaSTL who really spearheaded the game :)
On to your specific comments...
That's a good thought on the challenge levels. Our main concern was that people might not realize they exist - so we really wanted to draw attention to them. But I can see how people could get a bit lost. I'll try to see what we can do to balance that better.
The learn more text was far more popular than we had hoped! I like the notion of collecting them somewhere in the game to make them easier to access. For now, you can access them all on CaSTL's website (http://www.castl.uci.edu/games/bondbreaker_lessons)... though we should really get them more accessible in-game, as you say.