Video Game Rocket Science
Making games isn’t rocket science unless of course, it is. There are a lot of games that use rocket science to make a game, just check out Wikipedia’s category page of space simulators. Two rocket simulation games have come across my radar recently that I think are worth mentioning.
NASA’s most recent official foray into mixing rockets and games can be found in their game Rocket Science 101 which incorporates real missions into the sim. It’s designed for kids and does a good job of explaining what’s happening and why. One problem I have with this application is that there is no way to mess up meaning that it’s more of an interactive learning experience rather than a game.
As well as the entertaining aspect of Rocket Science 101, the game provides users with a way to learn all about NASA’s thrilling missions and the various components of the rockets used in those missions, as well as how they are configured and how they work together to provide a successful launch. Game players will have a unique opportunity to follow in the footsteps of engineers at LSP, who do the same things for real missions at NASA every single day.
Now this is a game where you can screw up!
Kerbal Space Program (KSP) is challenging, very challenging. You need to construct a rocket then launch it with three kerbals (living things) aboard without blowing it up. In KSP you have to design and fly the rocket meaning that if you don’t know your flight angles then you’re going to run into problems. It’s so good that people at NASA play it.
KSP has a demo of an older version of the game that you can download and play at their site.
No matter what, it seems it’s a complicated process to get to the Moon (or the Mun):