Impulse
Deals with physics
  Particles // Energy // Gravity // Electric Forces // Newton's Laws of Motion
Intended for high school
Available on Web // Android // iOS
Cost free
   
Developed by EdGE@TERC (external) (academic developer)
Website at Visit game website (external)
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Impulse

Impulse is an immersive, blended-genre physics game designed for the web and mobile devices. Combining elements of puzzle, arcade, educational, and simulation games, Impulse places players in an N-body simulation of ambient particles obeying Newton’s Laws. Impulse requires the player to apply a force (an impulse) through a touch or click input. Players must use impulses to guide their particle to a goal without colliding with any other particles. Applying an impulse behind the particle will move it forward, while inserting an impulse in front of it will slow it down or make it travel backwards (relative to its initial direction of motion). However, every impulse consumes energy, so players need to be careful and strategic about where and when they create an impulse in order to conserve enough energy to complete the level.

Early levels of Impulse are designed to teach players about the game and basic science concepts. Checkpoints unlock new levels as players master the skills needed to advance. Enemy particles of different mass (indicated by color and size) are introduced at successive level checkpoints, as players learn that colliding with another particle results in a game-ending explosion, but other particles can collide with one another. At each level, more particles are added to increase difficulty.

To succeed, players need to “study” the behavior of particles in order to be able to predict their motion and avoid them as they travel to the goal. More specifically, players need to predict motions that can be described by Newton’s First and Second Laws of Motion and a conceptual understanding of Newton’s Law of Gravitation.

Description Provided by Developer



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Scorecards

Expert Reviews
By scientists and teachers
13 / 15
Fun
4 / 5
Learning
4 / 5
Science
5 / 5
Player Reviews
By everyone else (and you!)
13 / 15
Fun
4 / 5
Learning
4 / 5
Science
5 / 5

Expert Reviews

Fun and Educational

July 17, 2013

steg47
I am interested in the usefulness and effectiveness of games in the classroom as a supplemental resource to reinforce concepts, inspire creativity and foster higher-level thinking.

The game was fun to play. The particle was very responsive to "forces" placed on it. It was very challenging at first, but I got the hang of it. The concepts of external forces and their effects on particles were demonstrated very well.

Fun rating: 4 out of 5

Learning rating: 4 out of 5

Science rating: 5 out of 5

Total:

13 / 15

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