-- Support The Loftus Party via our Patreon account! --
It's kind of the Holy Grail Quest for parents. The search for a video game that won't turn your kid into a mindless idiot. Unfortunately most "learning" games seem to be designed with 3 year olds in mind. It's tough out there for a parent. You go straight from some "let's match colors" game to "kill all the zombies with all the weapons in the room" horror fiesta. There really isn't much in between.
That's why we dig Kerbal Space Program and Kerbal Space Program 2. It's a really good time and you'll accidentally learn stuff about science. Winner, winner, chicken dinner if you're slightly concerned about your kids' future.
Simply put, it's a spaceflight simulation game. You have your little test pilot dudes (Kerbals) and you get to build stuff for them to fly around in. Ultimately, you wanna get em into space or land on the moon. Maybe even go to Mars! Now here's where it gets really good.
Where the game play is pretty simple, the science is pretty accurate. You change engines and thrusters. Slap on some parachutes for re-entry. Put the rocket on the pad and launch that sucker! Did you have enough fuel? What about thrust? Maybe you needed more. How will the extra weight affect your spaceship? Just trying out different rockets and building insane designs is hilarious. Build the craziest craft you can imagine and see what happens. But as you build and experiment you're gonna accidentally learn actual science. The actual laws of dynamics are in place. Orbits will decay. This is Elon Musk/NASA level stuff, but designed for a kid to use. Brilliant!
The fun of the game is real as well. When playing the original Kerbal Space Program a massive cheer went up in our living room when we got our first ship into space. It was a lot of trial and error. A lot of laughs and shhhhhh...don't tell...a lot of learning. Eventually we got a space station in orbit and even made it to the Moon. Really good times.
Yes, there's missions and a story mode. And yes the Kerbals are funny. That's all outstanding. My kids and I probably had the most fun just letting it rip, making planes and rockets. Launching those suckers just to see what would happen. Ha! Accidentally fun science!