Date: Dec 24, 2012 11:08 PM
Author: Robert Hansen
Subject: Re: Dragonbox
On Dec 24, 2012, at 7:41 AM, Richard Strausz <Richard.Strausz@farmington.k12.mi.us> wrote:
> As I read your description of the game, I was struck by the importance of having to follow rules to accomplish a task. The short videos I've seen indicated how visual support for the rules is built into the app. I like what I see, but I am concerned if the game's play factor is weak.
Yes, the rules are explicit and displayed at every step of every level. For example, if I drag an "opposite" tile to negate a tile on one side, I must drag a second opposite tile to the other side as well, and the game makes this perfectly clear by showing a spot for this second tile. This goes for every step.
However, I had expected the rules to be intuitive or self evident, like a balance with things on one side that must balance the things on the other side or it tips over. In fact, I rushed through the tutorial so fast that I missed a couple rules and had to figure them out later, when the game indicated that I needed more tiles. Fortunately, any time you need more tiles, you need more of the same tile that you just used.
This part of the game is unfortunately a lot like a lighted keyboard that lights each key that you are supposed to press.
Getting past the arbitrary not self evident rules, the game does require some ingenuity at times. One of the objects is not just to isolate the chest but to isolate the chest in the least number of steps. Maybe this doesn't teach algebra as much as it tests for qualities of the mind that will be beneficial when the time for algebra comes.:)