Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Aimed at teaching kids how experimenting with different machines can be pretty fun, Simple Machines is a rather nice experience. Older kids are going to end up wishing there was a bit more of a structure to things, but the younger ones will like just messing around.
Simple Machines is divided up into six simple machines to check out. They teach you things such as how lever and pulleys affect things, as well as the importance of inclined planes, wedges, wheels, and screws. What this really means is you can poke about with a lot of things. Simple Machines doesn’t offer much instruction, leaving you to figure things out.
One section, for instance, involves throwing projectiles at a castle, gradually knocking down its defenses. As a player, you learn how moving the ramp along can affect the trajectory of the projectile quite significantly. Another section involves you seeing how multiple pulleys and winches can affect what you’re able to lift. There’s the more involved experience of adjusting incline planes to form a kind of pinball set up too. It’s gently done, meaning sometimes you’re going to end up wishing there was more of a purpose behind your objectives.
That’s particularly noticeable with things such as riding a bike to nowhere. A goal would have been appreciated here. However, for young children, Simple Machines is going to be great for teaching them the benefits of experimenting, plus you can teach them about how physics change things around, and the importance of force and motion.
Simple Machines is well presented throughout so it’s the kind of app that you can easily use in conjunction with your kid. Telling them about this stuff is one thing, but demonstrating the real world effect of physics is so much more important. Simple Machines is a handy educational tool for precisely that reason.