Learn Science
Publisher: Dreamcatcher Games
Rating: E - Everyone
Platform(s): DS

Learn Science is targeted for children in grades 1-4 (6 to 9 years old). After entering the player's name and birthday, she selects a personal coach (male or female), and then selects Games, Career or TV Quiz.

Games has 5 topics, each of which have 3 sections. Of course, most of the topics and their sections are 'locked' at first - to start with you can only access 3 of the sections:

  • Physics: Lasers,
  • Colors and Sounds: Sound of Air, and
  • Colors and Sounds: Create that Color.

All of the sections are timed, and come in Easy, Medium and Hard variants - only the Easy variants are unlocked at the start. You can play the unlocked sections as often as you want, to gain skill in mastering them.

Eventually you will try the Career option, which behaves like a test of what you have been doing. The test has 6 examples chosen from the unlocked set that you can access. After completing the examples, you will be shown a graph of your results, and three more sections will be unlocked. You can only take the Career test once in any 24 hour period.

You should run the tutorial for each section (touch the "?"), to find out exactly how to do that section - many are not at all obvious.

Here is a brief description of the 5 topics and their sections:

  • Colors and Sound
    • Sound of Air
      You are shown a number of bottles partially filled with water. A 'melody' is played, and you are to fill the bottles with the correct amounts of water to get the same melody. You can replay the melody as often as you like, but you only get a very limited number of test trials of your choices. After that you have to rely on your sound memory before time runs out. The Easy level uses 3 bottle, Medium uses 4, and Hard uses 5 bottles. The correct configuration is shown briefly at the end.
    • Sound Effects
      A picture is shown and 4 buttons are available to play sounds. Choose the sound that might be made by something in the picture. The amount of time you are given depends on the difficulty setting.
    • Create that Color
      A color splotch is shown and you are to match it by tapping one or more cans of paint to pick up one or more dabs of red, yellow, blue (and white and/or black in the more difficult levels). The correct mixtures are briefly shown if you don't get it right. You can move the paintbrush to the splotch to compare it before giving your answer, and you can start over if you wish.
  • Geography
    • Country Puzzle
      Move blocks in the shape of the countries identified in a scrolling legend on the top screen to the correct place on a larger blank map. In harder levels the blocks may be rotated from their final positions and of a different size than their final image.
    • Drawing Flags
      The flag of a country is shown in color, along with a map on the top screen which highlights where the country is. The colors are then removed from the flag and you have to color the flag using a set of colors supplied on the screen, before the time runs out. The time allotted and the time you are shown the fully colored flag depends on the difficulty level.
    • Where to Go
      A characteristic of a destination (usually an animal) is specified on the lower screen. A map of the world's continents is on the upper screen, with a dot where you are now (in your helicopter). By moving the stylus, you can direct the helicopter to where you think the destination is, based on the animal you have to find. It is possible to run into the wrong animal if you are not careful and fail the round.
  • Biology
    • Microscope
      There is white spot on the top screen. As you manipulate a focus knob and two stage slider knobs on a picture of a microscope in the bottom scren you can move an object into the field of view (sideways and up/down) and focus the image. Select one of the possible specimens from the bottom of the screen as a match.
    • Create the Garden
      Move objects from the collection at the bottom of the screen to the plant that they are associated with. The objects are named when you touch them with the stylus; even if you do not recognize a blob as a potato, you can find out what it is by touching it. There may be more items at the bottom than plants to match.
    • What Species
      Collect the required number of animals of the required species from a moving display of pictures by touching and moving pictures into a box in the middle.
  • Human Body
    • Find the Bone
      Make an 'x-ray' of the place in the body where you can find the bone you are shown, by moving the body to the right place in the x-ray target. The hints given by the color of the target zone get less specific with difficulty level.
    • Which Sense
      Based on a picture, you are to choose one or more senses that would be involved from icons that represent touch, hearing, sight, smell and taste. The 'correct' answers are shown very briefly as a green outline around the icons.
    • Organ Puzzle
      Drag the pictures of the organs into an outline of a body. The shadow outlines of organs in the body are fewer in more difficult levels. Don't miss the eyeball - it just looks like a little spot in the box if you aren't paying careful attention!
  • Physics
    • Electrical Circuit
      Flip two switches in the wire that connects an appliance to a source of electricity. Although the wires crisscross, there is no circuitry involved - just follow a single path. The number of appliances and the criss-crossedness increase with increasing difficulty.
    • Lasers
      Create a path from a light source to a destination by using mirrors, some of which can be moved or rotated. You have to get the light beam around obstacles. The rotating mirrors appear in the Medium level, but it is very hard to control the rotational setting, so that you can run out of time even if you know exactly how to set them.
    • Force of Gravity
      This is a sort-of pachinko machine. A ball is dropped in the upper screen and bounces off stationary pins. On the lower screen you have two slanted rods and a pin which can be moved anywhere you like on this screen. The object is to place them so that the ball drops into the basket at the bottom, since the ball will bounce off the pins and rods, and possibly roll up or down a rod. You get three tries - and it helps to notice that the ball drops exactly the same way in the upper screen in each try. A correct solution is never shown.

The game also has an ANALYSIS section where you can see graphs of your scores on each of the sections, and on the career tests, and a TV QUIZ section with multiple choice questions - the knowledge you need here has to come from elsewhere, though.

This game can be played with another player both in single-card and multi-card mode.

  • To Order: DS http://www.amazon.com/ $32.99 02/06/2011