TinkerBox HD

LQ: 9.2


Brain grade: 9.5
Fun score: 8.9

Game Type: ESRB Rating: N/A Platform/Console: LWK Recommended Age: 8+ Thinking Skills Used: ,


Let your imagination run wild in TinkerBox HD, a physics puzzler game. With one goal in each level, the player must think like an engineer in order to coordinate a variety of elements on the screen to perform an action and complete a goal. Whether it’s guiding balls into buckets or pushing a box off a platform, the puzzles always present fun challenges. Kids will have to use tools such as conveyor belts, chains, platforms, motors, and more, to produce motion, direction, and force. The game also features an “Invent Mode” where players can build their own original machines, download those that others have created, or even share creations with friends. Beyond basic reading skills, academic skills are not required to play, although a simple understanding of basic physic concepts is certainly helpful. Players will naturally learns basic engineering concepts while having a good time solving the puzzles in TinkerBox HD. Considering the difficulty of the game, we recommend TinkerBox HD for players eight and older.




Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

photo 1Flexibility skills are called for in TinkerBox HD when looking at a problem and/or a tool from different angles (literally) and also switching metal gears between levels where goals are different each time. One level may focus on pressing buttons, another will challenge the player to get X number of balls into the basket or push a box over the edge. Accomplishing these goals requires different ways of problem solving and even different tools/elements. Kids will have to experiment with a variety of methods - perhaps a conveyor belt will provide the momentum needed, or maybe simply dropping a ball with create enough force. Even when an element -- a spring platform, for instance -- is placed in the correct area, it may need to be tilted sideways or lifted higher in order to send the ball in the correct trajectory. To complicate things further, not all the tools and materials provided are necessary to accomplish a given goal. Players must remain mentally flexible in order to consider a variety of solutions to a particular problem.


Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.

Successfully completing a level in TinkerBox HD requires a lot of planning. First, players must visualize how a level will play out. Then they will use a step-by-step process of evaluation, construction, and adjustment before a level is complete. It's a good idea for the player to hit play and watch the level unfold before adding any elements or manipulating anything. This allows them to see the flow and direction of a level, and how the moving components move. The next step is to see which elements are available and where they might be placed. The final creation is a lot like dominoes or a Rube Goldberg machine; the player has arranged items in such a way as to create a sequence wherein one action must jump start another. The player will need to tweak or rearrange the elements (higher, lower, a little more to the side, this one where that one is, etc) a few times before a goal is accomplished. Solving these puzzles enhances a child's ability to conceptualize a multi-layered process.

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