Chemistry is an intimidating subject for many students. Some students even go so far to say they hate chemistry; they think it’s boring and hard to understand. ChemCaper hopes to shift the equilibrium through an educational game that combines chemistry concepts with a fantasy RPG world. Aimed at ages 10+, but just as entertaining for grown-ups, it’s a polished production that takes the dread out of learning.
Act 1: Petticles in Peril
The first installment of ChemCaper centers on Roub, a young Moon Being whose life is turned upside down after an evil force attacks his homeland. The pampered Roub must now learn to fight as he searches for answers amidst the chaos that was his world.
As players help Roub complete quests and level up, they explore a fascinating world based off chemistry concepts. Roub’s homeland of Reac Ta, for example, finds its namesake in the reactive metals. Its inhabitants, the Moon Beings, have a strong aversion to water and are so light that they float. If you look at the map of the world, you will see that it is modeled after the periodic table.
Central to the game are petticles, small creatures that represent the individual elements in chemistry and help Roub fight off enemies. Players acquire these petticles through a bonding process similar to that which forms chemical compounds. There are many types of petticles with unique powers, for example, petticles that are able to heal Roub and stun enemies. In order to collect these petticles, players must understand about the different types of orbs (atoms) and bonds (covalent, ionic, and metallic).
Players can also support Roub’s battles with potions crafted with lab apparatus. The unique crafting process is designed to reflect real-life experiments, where care must be taken to produce results of the highest quality. For example, players trying to concoct a healing cordial must divide the ingredients equally between two test tubes. The controls are very precise and as such, it’s easy to spill the ingredients if you are not careful.
Parents Need to Know
ChemCaper implements fairly complex mechanics and requires players to be fluent in reading and problem solving. Tutorials are provided at the beginning of the game and will cover the basic functionalities, but some details will need to be uncovered independently. There might be a lot to take in if the player is new to role-playing games, but give it enough time and everything should make sense.
Players who want to learn more about the vast world of Chemcaper can check out the in-app Chempendium. It’s a comprehensive section that provides detailed information on important places, characters, and items. Players may also discover here the bonding formula to acquire certain petticles. Note that Internet access is required to open the Chempendium.
ChemCaper contains no in-app purchases, no third-party advertising, and no social media links. It is currently only available in the following countries: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia.
Things I Like
Some people might assume that educational games are not really fun to play and sometimes they are right, but ChemCaper is not your average edu-game. Designed first and foremost as a game, it offers an immersive experience that children and grown-ups will enjoy. In fact, it won’t look out of place among other, more “serious” RPGs.
What makes the game work is the fact that it’s not a textbook. Instead, it’s an attempt to “humanize” chemistry and turn intangible concepts into something more concrete so that they are easier to understand. This app might not help your child immediately ace their next test, but it will spark their curiosity and help them find that “aha!” moment when they connect what they learn in the game with the lessons in their books.
The only drawback to this game is that you will have to wait a bit longer to reach the conclusion of Roub’s adventure; Act I is the only one out so far. The build up has been great, though, so I say the rest of the Acts are worth waiting for.
ChemCaper: Act I — Petticles in Perils is a full-fledged, fantasy role-playing game designed to get children excited to learn chemistry. As players battle monsters, complete quests, and level up, they also explore a beautiful world built from the ground up based off chemistry concepts. This is a very polished attempt at creating a game that even grown-ups will love, and as such is highly recommended if you’re looking for a fun supplement to traditional lessons.
App was provided for our honest review.