Zachtronics, developers of deviously difficult puzzle games such as Space Chem and TIS-100, have decided to offer a big part of their catalogue to public schools free of charge. The educational licences will allow the games to be installed on school computers and let children suffer the same emotional trauma and sense of intellectual inadequacy I feel when I play them. That’ll take ’em down a notch.
Joking aside, these are all wonderfully smart games. “Smart games for smart people” I like to call them as I bounce off them after the tutorial like a complete dunce. But then they made Opus Magnum, which is a smart game for dumb people, as evidenced by the fact that even I managed to get halfway through it. If you’re a teacher and you’re eager to implement these into the classroom, I’d recommend starting with that one.
The official website has all the pertinent information – the terms and conditions under which these keys will be given out, instructions on how to contact the devs if you want them, as well as brief descriptions of the games themselves. There’s also a difficulty rating for each (out of five) which is kinda hilarious because none of them got 5/5 and now I’m wondering what do Zachtronics feel is a 5/5 on a difficulty scale. Performing your own heart surgery?
So if you’re working in a public schol and you’d like your students to learn how to cope with utter and complete failure using Shenzhen I/O, Opus Magnum, TIS-100, Exapunks or Infinifactory, follow the link above. If you’re part of a private school, the offer doesn’t apply to you, but the devs are willing to discuss an educational discount. It’s a great deal. Depending on the students’ characters and abilities, you can either use these to reward them, or to punish them.