XenoBloom

Primarily for entertainment: This game is not intended to teach, but rather to simply raise awareness and interest in a scientific concept.

In XenoBloom, you tend a fledgling ecosystem on an alien world. You do this by encouraging life to grow, harvesting mature plants, and making changes to the environments and its inhabitants. The force of life is controlled by cellular automata, a mathematical construct that uses simple rules to produce complex emergent behavior.

There are 3 game modes: "Normal" mode plays most like a game, and has specific goals and limitations. "Scientist" mode is more like a digital toy, and gives you total power to adjust the cellular automata coditions, and experiment with the characteristics of your plants. "Observer" mode gives the player no control at all, but causes random events to occur at 10 times the normal rate. Watch the ecosystem evolve on its own!



Scorecards

Expert Reviews
By scientists and teachers
We don't have any expert reviews yet for XenoBloom.
Are you a scientist who has played this game or a teacher who has used it in the classroom? Contact us about writing an expert review today.
Player Reviews
By everyone else (and you!)
13 / 15
Fun
4 / 5
Learning
4 / 5
Science
5 / 5

Player Reviews

Ryan Dorkoski
Player

XenoBloom is a neat puzzle toy that you poke around with until you slowly unwrap its secrets. There is certainly the terrarium aspect with ecological balance, but there is also a zen-like feel I get from playing with one of those desktop sandscape panes.

And as a biogeochemist myself, I can tell you that there is certainly some cool science to consider here. This is a great primer on the flux of carbon and nutrients through different pools in the environment.

Essentially, you control the inputs and outputs of variables into a closed ecosystem. Things like carbon and nutrient pools, as well as water, sunlight, and even 'love'. Manipulating these variables 'feels' potent; the impact can be quite noticable. This is where the puzzle comes in. You tweak things to figure how they in-turn affect other things. While this title is small in scope, and your mileage may vary depending on how long mastery takes for you - it's all very fun.

Pros: +Quite fun to tinker with and slowly figure out how everything works and how things are connected +The 'hints' ease you into play nicely +It's neat to watch things grow and change +Local co-op! +The various modes are well chosen; the observation mode actually makes it a desktoy/screensaver which is great

Cons: -Your mileage will vary depending on how long it takes you to figure it all out, as well as how interested you are in managing/manipulating an ecosystem

Totally worth five bucks if this intrigues you.

Fun rating: 4 out of 5

Learning rating: 4 out of 5

Science rating: 5 out of 5

Total:

13 / 15

This review has 0 comments.


Game

December 26, 2015

Asalathussain
Player

Good

Fun rating: 4 out of 5

Learning rating: 4 out of 5

Science rating: 4 out of 5

Total:

12 / 15

This review has 0 comments.


Leave a review

Sign up or log in to post a review of your own!


Sign up! or Log in to post now.

SGC Sponsors

The CELL: an image library Leica Science Lab. Learn. Share. Contribute. ESA Foundation - Entertainment Software Association Foundation

Get News