Fantastic Contraption

LQ: 9.1


Brain grade: 9.8
Fun score: 8.4

Game Type: , ESRB Rating: N/A Platform/Console: LWK Recommended Age: 7+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used:


Fantastic Contraption is a physics/puzzle game where players are asked to move a number of pink objects into a pink rectangular “goal” area. And it’s easier said than done. As far as difficulty goes, Fantastic Contraption proves to be quite a challenge. Players must build a device or “contraption” that is both mobile and capable of transporting the pink object from point A to B. The mobile contraption will optimally operate like a tank, rolling over obstacles and knocking down blockades. Players can choose from 5 different objects when building their contraption. There are 3 wheels: one that spins clockwise, one that spins counterclockwise, and one that will not rotate until pushed or moved by momentum. There are also two connectors: a solid stick and a water stick. The water stick can pass through walls and wheels, but not everything. Players have free reign when designing their contraption, so trial and error plays a major role in this game. Additionally, the paid version of Fantastic Contraption allows players to design and share levels of their own. Since the difficulty is high and learning curve somewhat steep, we recommend this game to players 7 and up.



292170Before players attempt to design a way to transport the pink object across the screen, it's important that they understand the functionality of each mechanism at their disposal. That way they can devise a plan. There are a number of things players should consider before building their transporter. Is there a gap on screen? Can the level be traversed given the 5 material players have to work with? If there is a blockade, how can it be knocked over? Once players have a general idea of how they wish to proceed, it's time to start building their contraption. This is really where the planning thinking skill comes into play. Based on the nature of the terrain, players have to decide whether to use the water rods or stick rods to connect wheels. Then they must determine the right combinations of clockwise, counter-clockwise, and non spinning wheels. There are of course many solutions for each map. And the thinking skill that accounts for such variation: planning.


imagesTrial and error is at the heart of gameplay in Fantastic Contraption, as well as a major component of the flexibility thinking skill. Success in the earlier levels is mildly dependent on the player's understanding of general physics, momentum, inertia, and motion. Experimentation is another part of the flexibility thinking skill, and players really have to experiment with their designs to beat some of the more difficult levels. For example, in the third level, aptly titled "Reach Up," players have to transport an airborne object across a short distance. To do this, players need to experiment with different ways to hold objects at a certain height. Luckily, players can erase any construction progress they've made by clicking the red "x" button, then clicking the piece they want to remove. This way, players can continue to design, amend, and redesign their contraption so it safely transports the pink object to its destination. Be sure to try out all types of wheels and rods before settling on a final design.

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