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ZOOM Physicus
$9.95 (Win95/98/NT/Mac) (Retail Box) (PHYSICUSDR)

Publisher: Tivola

Ages 10 and Up

Ratings:

A from Just Adventure

         

Save the World With Science

A meteorite has hit the Earth! Your planet has stopped rotating around its own axis and now it is in real danger! One half looks set to freeze solid in arctic conditions, while scorching heat makes life unbearable on the other half. You are the last hope for humankind and you know there is only one solution. You have to save the planet! You must try to generate enough electricity so that the enormous repulse from the large impulse machine sends your planet rotating again. This is the beginning of a very exciting adventure ...

There are many scientific problems to be solved. Use the vast knowledge database of Physicus to find the solutions.

Features and Activities:

Science of Electricity: Understand how electrical circuits, current strength, voltage, generators, and electrical power are interrelated ...

Mechanics: Play - and learn about Newton's laws of motion.

Science of Heat: What are aggregation states? And why does a hot air balloon actually fly? .. here you'll find out!

Optics: Find out about light and shadow, lenses and colours, and lots more ...

Acoustics: Learn everything about soundwaves, oscillations, and the human ear.

Many physics related riddles and phenomena as well as a gripping storyline make Physicus a compelling and unique learning experience.

Requirements:

Windows 95/98/NT: 133 MHz Pentium, 32 MB RAM, SVGA Graphics card, sound card, 8x CD-ROM drive.

Macintosh: Power PC 166 MHz, 16 MB RAM, 32,768 colors, System 7.5, 8x CD-ROM drive.

Reviews:

Just Adventure by Darcy Danielson

"Physicus is designed to teach the subject of physics in a fun and easy-to-understand manner. One of the most appealing aspects to the game is the overall look of the game environments. It is a charming, lighthearted version of the Myst style of game-making, which is a pleasant combination as it makes Physicus as enjoyable for an adult as any other adventure game he or she might play."

"The graphics in this game are irresistible, with a sort of old-world European charm reflective of the home of the game's creators, Germany. The environments are very elaborately drawn, and the 3D rendering is as good and well put-together as any adult adventure game--better than quite a few, actually. The endgame is a brief but amusing animated sequence that is also well-executed."

"Physicus teaches the subjects of electricity, aggregation states of different materials, mechanics, optics, and acoustics. The player is given an electronic interface, accessed within the game, that allows the player to research these subjects to solve the problems encountered during the game. The interface itself is well-done, and all subjects have visual explanations, in many instances with animations, and interactive components that are helpful in guiding understanding.

"But don't be put off by the subject matter included to help solve the puzzles. In many instances, at least for an adult, they involve common sense and things about physics that most people do have a basic understanding and grasp of. The puzzles, based on the subject matter, are obviously mechanical puzzles, which increases the Myst-like atmosphere of the game."

"Tivola sells this game as something for people from ages 10 to 102, and this is certainly truth in advertising. I had just as much fun with it as any adventure game played just for fun, without the added bonus of learning something. As a home-school parent, I recommend this highly as a supplement to regular science materials."

Boston Sunday Herald by Robin Ray, February 18, 2001

"...Physicus brings us a world reminiscent of Myst, Broderbund's cultish mystery game. As in Myst, you enter a lonely seaside landscape of cranky old machinery, abandoned buildings and bare trees. But Physicus had both a character of its own and a mission: to teach the principals of physics. Physics is a tough subject."

"It generally ranks among the most dreaded, most flunked and most poorly taught classes in both high school and college. But physics can also be charming. It offers to explain how the ordinary events of life take shape... The problem is how to get across the charming stuff without boring everybody to death. It is here that Physicus succeeds. In order to get the giant catapult working, you have to gether bits of power from contraptions littered all over the fictitious landscape of Physicus."

The New York Times by Charles Herold, February 15, 2001

"Myst was a reasonable model for a game intended to teach science; its puzzles relied on the mechanics of the world. But whereas the puzzles in Myst could be solved through reason and experimentation, in Physicus you need such specific knowledge as the relationship between amps and ohms or the principle behind the pulley. Some puzzles can be solved through logical deduction, but many will require some serious study.

"Studying involves going through Physicus's set of science tutorials, which are well designed and supply a great deal of information. After learning a particular principle, you can see it in action by starting a motor or plucking a guitar string. This is true of other computer tutorials, and what makes Physicus different is that you take what you have learned and use it in the game."


Quandary Review by Steve Ramsey

"The puzzles are varied in difficulty and type, ranging from finding and using the right item to unravelling the mysteries of voltage or magnetism. Whilst the game proclaims itself suitable for persons aged 10 to 102, my almost 10 year old was out of her depth. 15 or 16 seems a better lower end."

"Building a game so overtly around physics was a brave move, particularly given the database aspect. So too was trying to appeal to such a broad target audience. Yet Physicus succeeds, and does a much better job of providing an interesting and entertaining game than many non-edutainment titles. It would be a mistake not to play this game because of its edutainment tag, whatever your feelings about such titles."



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