What game would you have designed when you were 13? Here's what my students did.
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Hello!

My 13 year old middle school gifted students design strategy games over the course of a semester, and here are their results. We spend two months playing a wide variety of strategy games and analyzing theme, mechanics, and victory conditions. Then, students design their own. They spend about two months on their design and by the end, have created a complete prototype and rule set.

I think game design is the best thing that I've ever taught. My students love games and that hooks them from the start. The project is challenging in so many ways and gets harder, and more rewarding, with every step. Choosing the theme allows them to immerse themselves deeply into a subject that matters to them. Then, by focusing on mechanics and victory conditions, they must think deeply about the experience they are trying to create for their players. Writing the ruleset is the next level of challenge because they must distill their ideas into a cogent, functional set AND then explain it so others can have the same experience in playtesting. After a cycle of playtesting and refinement, students create a polished prototype and we publish the results here for all the world to see.

The project requires holistic, visual-spatial thinking as well as analytical, sequential thinking. They must design the game they want while keeping what gamers want and need in mind. They have to be creative on deadlines and manage their time in class to determine their own courses of action. I never let students design a game with a partner because at the end of class, each student has full ownership of everything in their box--all 8,000 decisions are theirs forever.

All things considered, the results are pretty impressive for students whose only strategy gaming experience might have included Risk and Stratego before this class.

Please feel free to make comments, show love, ask questions, and help support the future game designers of tomorrow. My students and I will be actively reviewing responses every day and they will respond.

Enjoy!

After 24 hours, to have over 200 thumbs, this means SO much to them. They were so excited to see such a great response (we are at the top of the "Hot" Geeklist section!). BGG is the best online community!!! Thanks for your support!

Edit: over 300!

BLOW THE ROOF OFF! Over 500! Thanks to everyone at BGG for showing such strong support for my students' games. I wish you all could see how excited and happy they are to have so much positive support shown for their games. From thumbs to comments to messages to talking about it at Geekway this past weekend, I have had so many positive comments to pass along. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and this definitely inspires me to keep going as well. Hopefully next year, these students will choose advanced game design as an independent study option, and you'll continue to see these designers produce even better games. Next year's batch of 7th graders' games will be coming, as well, and after seeing what they can do in 6th grade, I am certain that you'll see some exciting new game designs again.

Today is my students' last day in class, so we will try to answer any last lingering questions, but if they don't get a chance to respond, please know that they have read everything and will continue to think and work on their games.

Thanks so much BGG! Wooooooooooooooohooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!


600. Y'all are makin' me blush. This has been so inspiring and exciting for my students. I'm going to be spending my summer finishing my book prospectus and getting my blog up and running, so this is just the start of what brilliant kids can do, mine and others. Thanks so much to everyone. BGG is awesome and amazing.
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1. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Commission Mission by J. T.
From gallery of funkdonut

Each player is to build a house based on the client card they get. The client card has requests on what they want their house to look like. For example a client card could say:
Two story house
Modern and Tudor Style
One garage.

Players must physically build a three dimensional house out of the building pieces. There are four styles of building pieces and player can fit them together to create a house. Players must purchase the building pieces on the board before they can use them. At the end of the game, players get points for pleasing the clients and having the most sustainable building.

An example turn might go like this. Player A has three options; Move and buy, move and don’t buy, or gather money. When a player moves, they can move one or two spaces around the grid board. Move and buy means a player would move their piece to a different area and purchase the building piece on the square. Player A would take the building piece and add it to their house. Players are not required to buy a building piece after moving. At the beginning of the game, each person is given a certain amount of money to buy building pieces. If a person needs more money, they may use their turn to take money from the bank.

Mechanics: Hand management, tile placement (with building pieces), chit pull, and trading (with money).

The game ends when the players notice that they are not able to finish their house that they are currently building. A person wins based on how many points he/she has for having green roofs and pleasing their client.

My game is awesome and amazing because I have a unique theme that is fun and that includes hands on building of a different architectural house.
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2. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Microbadge: Mercury - hellhole of the solar systemMicrobadge: Are the cones a metaphor? Well, yes and no.Microbadge: RPG Geek of the Week!Microbadge: Chaotic NeutralMicrobadge: Game Teacher
Motor Maniac by A.R.
From gallery of funkdonut

In Motor Maniac you advance by comulation of Victory points. You will buy cars, advertise and use strategy cards to advance along the VP race track to be the real motor maniac. Different cars are available as you advance allowing you to get more and more VP. The game will be at the end when one player has completed one lap around the board (a total of 40 victory points).

Every turn the player has 5 actions. Players can build cars, advertise or buy/use strategy cards.
To build your car, you move your piece up. Once it makes it to the last section, you have built that car. You can advertise that turn to boost the amount of victory points you get. The more actions it takes to build a car the more victory points it is worth. When you advertise there are three spots, one takes one action, one takes two actions and one takes three actions. The more actions you spend to advertise means the more VP you receive from it. Strategy Cards are all different and have a higher price if they do more to the game play. Some Strategy cards assist you and some harm other people. Players interact with each other while they advertise, use strategy cards and try to get the edge on the racetrack. I chose cars because I find them interesting and there are not a lot of car games out in the real world.

Game Mechanics: Variable Phase Order, Stock Holding, and Hand Management.

In order to be the ultimate victor, you must make one lap around the track around the board. Which is 40 VP. As you race among your competitors the winners changing cars shooting out of the assembly line in order to advance you to your ultimate goal.

My game is awesome and amazing because it shows what happens with the whole car business. This game is great if you love cars. You build cars through your assembly line. As you move along the racetrack it is not gas that keeps you going, it is the production of your own cars.
My game has a lot of strategy. Players have three main choices throughout the game and there is no wrong way to go. You watch the neck and neck race as you try to roll by the finish line first to achieve the ultimate victor.
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3. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Gladius by G.K.
From gallery of funkdonut

Players aim to fight, overcome bloody battles and become the most famous gladiator of their time. Gladiators fight every four rounds, and use their successfully won riches to buy items beneficial to the gladiator. Whether they spend their money to bring people to their very own arena or buying items, weapons, and shields to aid in bringing down their opponents in the arena, gladiators are constantly competing against others, in and out of the arena. Whoever reaches the highest fame stays at the top, having outshined all the other warriors.

Once everything is set up, a player can roll a die to decide whether it will be an item or people auction round. When that is decided, players set out the right number of cards on the board, and according to the sector that they are in, or how much money they have, players who want to bid the correct starting price, and bids up by the right amount. Whoever wins the cards that round can choose to keep the card, or use it immediately. Depending on the round number, either choice can be a better one than the other. A people auction round is very similar, with the exception that if you win the cards, you receive people to put in your arena, and are payed twice in 4 rounds, but you may not participate the following round. Every four rounds, a battle round occurs, where the two players that roll the highest numbers battle against each other. Players have the option to use item cards to increase their roll, and whoever has the highest total roll will win the battle, receiving riches from the battle. Players not included in the battle may bet on who they think will be the winner, and earn money if they are correct, lose money if they are not. Item cards are used to increase the stats on a player’s meter, and the sectors of the meter have advantages the further you are, with equalizers to balance the stats out.

I chose this theme of gladiators because I thought that if this theme could be formatted into a strategic game, there could be so many ways to go with it, and make it really unique and fun. I felt that if I did well with my ideas, I could really bring this idea of gladiators, fighting, and trading to life through a fun game that not only involves luck but strategy as well.

Game Mechanics: Auction & Bidding, Betting & Wagering, and Dice-rolling

In order to win, a gladiator must be the first to be the most famous and strongest of all the others. To do this, they must reach fame level 3, or reach the 30th segment of a player’s meter/the end of the meter. Upon winning, a gladiator also ends the game when reaching that point of fame.

My game is AWESOME AND AMAZING because the theme really sparks players’ imagination and brings them back to the times of the roman gladiators. It creates a good gaming mood and tension, involving a bit of luck to keep players on the edge, yet also involves a good amount of strategy, not just rolling a dice and winning. Players can go a different strategic route, and the gameplay will still mostly be balanced, adding spice to the decisions of the players. The whole bloody fighting aspect will keep players entertained, added with the strategic bidding and betting aspect of the game that will also keep them thinking and competitive. Yet the best reason is: Who doesn’t love gladiators?
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4. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Microbadge: Mercury - hellhole of the solar systemMicrobadge: Are the cones a metaphor? Well, yes and no.Microbadge: RPG Geek of the Week!Microbadge: Chaotic NeutralMicrobadge: Game Teacher
Scuba Hunters by C.G.
From gallery of funkdonut

Many treasures were lost at sea, and it is your job to find all the sets of these precious treasures. First you can only be in the basic diving part, you advance to the deep diving by finishing the amount of set cards that you are given; in the deep diving part, you finish another set collection card. It isn’t that easy though, with all the predators and your health/oxygen meter, you have a limited amount of time you can swim until you have to go up to the surface. And who knows what the predators are going to do?

During a turn, players can move their scuba diver, move predators, pick up treasure, trade, or other. (Each player receives a player aid that shows you all the possible actions you can do.)
Some of these count as one action, some two. Once a player runs out of actions, their turn is over. Each time your turn is over, move your oxygen level down by one. Once you run out of oxygen, you lose a heart. Once you lose all your hearts, you're basically dead. But, before your hearts run out, you can go back to the start hexagon, and every turn you stay there, you gain back one oxygen level. Now to movement, at first, you are on one side of the board, but to get to the other side, go through the suction tube in the middle, and it will bring you to the opposite side’s start hexagon. Like in real life, collecting treasures is not the only component of the game. You can also move predators and either slow down your opponent, or make them drop something. Each predator can do different things to you. Every time a predator injures you, you lose a life. But, you are not completely defenseless, you can jump on them to make them paralyzed for one turn. This is one action. Plus, what's the ocean without some sharks?

I chose this theme because, truthfully, the ocean is a world we don’t really know, and I believe if I had some more information on this mysterious place, I could truly make this a very stratified game including components of this underwater world that could be very interesting.

Game Mechanics: Set collection, trading, variable player powers.

The object of the game is to collect the treasure you need to complete your set card, possibly, hold treasure to prevent others from getting their set cards finished. Or another possible tactic is to trade. Remember, this game is about WINNING, not being difficult and either making outrageous trade offers, or just refusing to trade at all. And who knows, if you do that, there may be consequences. There are always consequences.

My game is AWESOME AND AMAZING because players get to experience the pressure of being on limited oxygen, and being exposed to predators , while having the ability to paralyze predators. Also, it shows that there is more than one level in the ocean, and that going to the deeper part can be a good thing.
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5. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Microbadge: Mercury - hellhole of the solar systemMicrobadge: Are the cones a metaphor? Well, yes and no.Microbadge: RPG Geek of the Week!Microbadge: Chaotic NeutralMicrobadge: Game Teacher
Good Eats by M.M.
From gallery of funkdonut

In Good eats players try to be the healthier than all of the other players by eating healthy food and participating in healthy activities, but they also want to be happy. On a food round players openly bid on food that they want, hopefully with a good balance between health and happiness. On a healthy habits round players take turns participating in activities such as cleansing themselves, exercising, and sleeping. Meters help players keep track of how healthy, happy, clean, fit, and awake they are. The game ends when one player has all of their meters filled up to the top at the same time. In food rounds food cards are set out and players use their tokens to bid on the foods they want. On a healthy habits round players go in a circle either exercising, cleansing themselves, or sleeping. Players can also acquire extra tokens to bid with on a healthy habits round. Players can win when they fill up all of their meters and have them full at the same time Anybody else without their meters full loses. Mechanics: auction/bidding, chit pull. I chose this theme because I am an athlete and eating healthy foods and being healthy in general is a big part of that. Being a good healthy person starts with eating healthy food and participating in the healthy habits featured in the game. I also chose this theme because it might be able to help people. If an unhealthy person plays this game they cannot win by what they are doing in real life. To win the person might have to think differently than they normally do, which may cause them to think about what they can be doing to help their body in reality. This game is awesome and amazing because it causes people to think in ways they probably haven’t before. It also can be very competitive if more than one person is going for a specific food which is one of the most fun components of games. People may get into bidding wars which makes the game exciting to watch. This game can truly be fun.
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6. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Please check out my student game design Geeklists! You rock!
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Microbadge: Mercury - hellhole of the solar systemMicrobadge: Are the cones a metaphor? Well, yes and no.Microbadge: RPG Geek of the Week!Microbadge: Chaotic NeutralMicrobadge: Game Teacher
Hectic Honey by A. T.
From gallery of funkdonut

Players control a hive of bees, trying to collect the most honey from the flowers. They can also control predators in order to harm other players and prevent them from winning. The bears have the ability to subtract honey points from other hives, the birds can eat up the bees, and the honey badgers can do both. The player with the most honey points at the end wins.

During a turn, players may move their drones of bees, control predators, collect honey, or reproduce their bees. Some of these actions cost more action points than others, and once a player runs out of action points, their turn is over. The flowers near the center of the board contain more valuable honey pieces than the ones near the outside, but are more dangerous and risky to go towards. Collecting honey is not the only goal during the game. Players can also move predators in order to make it more difficult for other players to collect honey. This theme of bees and honey was chosen because I thought that it was a good idea to make a game based on a system in which all aspects rely on each other.

Game Mechanics: Pick-up and Deliver, Variable Phase Order, Hand Management

Players win by having the most honey points by the end of the game, which are obtained by taking honey from flowers and bringing it back to the hive. The game ends once all honey is gone.

My game is awesome and amazing because it is based on a complex system in real life that involves natural elements of competition for survival and the need for food. The game is based on strategic decision-making and the player’s ability to balance fighting for themselves and fighting against others. My game reflects the actual struggle of bees for honey and escape from predators.
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7. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Please check out my student game design Geeklists! You rock!
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Microbadge: Mercury - hellhole of the solar systemMicrobadge: Are the cones a metaphor? Well, yes and no.Microbadge: RPG Geek of the Week!Microbadge: Chaotic NeutralMicrobadge: Game Teacher
Expandition by S.Z.
From gallery of funkdonut

Once upon a time, in a solar system far far away, there was a planet named Earth. On this planet there were creatures called humans. The humans kept taking more and more land from the animals. Soon, all the animals were being chased out of their habitats and both their population and living space are quickly decreasing. Now, the animals have to compete against each other in order to gain territory to survive.

In my game, players represent animals. The animals are the frog, the penguin, the sea turtle, and lizard. For each turn, players are able to try to expand their territory and try to stop other players by moving danger pieces in their paths. You’ll have to find the perfect balance between offense and defense and think about what the other players might do.

I thought about the world today and how much we’re not thinking about the animals out there. Maybe playing this game will be fun, yet clear a path to what going on with the animals in the real world.

Game Mechanics: Area Control/Area Enclosure, Memory, Tile Placement, and a little Push Your Luck.

The games ends when there are no more places to put the tile pieces or when everyone except one person runs out of population pieces. You determine the winner by looking at who has the most squares taken.

My game is awesome because the game can be related to real life and how animals do struggle a lot in order to survive. The game can be fun because you can experience deeper thinking and survival skills. It’s also very fun to interact with one another while playing this game.
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8. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Microbadge: Mercury - hellhole of the solar systemMicrobadge: Are the cones a metaphor? Well, yes and no.Microbadge: RPG Geek of the Week!Microbadge: Chaotic NeutralMicrobadge: Game Teacher
Escape!!! by P.N.
From gallery of funkdonut

Gather materials on the island to assemble your boat. Move sharks to attack other players’ boats. Trade to get the materials you need. Escape your prison before everyone else to win!

On your turn, you can move to gather materials, trade, move sharks, and paddle your boat to reach San Francisco or Marin City. Gather materials to build your boat, and make it bigger and better. Trade to get the materials you need. Move sharks to eat other players and start them over. Paddle your boat to reach San Francisco or Marin City and win! It’s an awesome of action and adventure as your boat gets knocked around by currents, narrowly misses sharks, and you watch out for guards.

Mechanics: Set Collection, Trading, Action Point Allowance System, Roll and Move
Set Collection: Players want to get certain cards to get a good boat.
Trading: Players can trade with each other to get cards they want.
Action Point Allowance System: Your boat moves are determined by what, and how many materials you have.
Roll and Move: The affect the current has on you is determined by the dice.

My game is awesome and amazing because it is exciting, fun, and at times, frustrating. People get excited when the current moves them in the right direction, and frustrated when it pushes them away from their destination. Nervousness sets in when you are close to a shark, and relief takes over if you aren’t eaten. Metagaming goes on, as players beg each other to alliance, and not eat each other.
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9. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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designer
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Please check out my student game design Geeklists! You rock!
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Microbadge: Mercury - hellhole of the solar systemMicrobadge: Are the cones a metaphor? Well, yes and no.Microbadge: RPG Geek of the Week!Microbadge: Chaotic NeutralMicrobadge: Game Teacher
Tinder by Z. M.
From gallery of funkdonut

This game is a game of strategy,decisions and technological development. The main theme of this game is the beginning of developing human civilization, when the first tribes were forming.

Each turn you have three actions
Actions:
Placing a person, can only be done once per turn. (Uses one action)
Moving a person. (Uses one action)
Buying weapons, technologies, metal fences and flaming fences. (Uses one action)
Exploring. (Uses one action)
Being a Kraken (uses 3 actions).
Destroying the Temple (uses 3 actions, requires mythology).

The components of this game interact mainly through the player exploit of them. Players themselves interact through attacking and resource competition.

I choose this theme because I am interested in technological advances, and the development of the first humans.

Players win or lose based on if they get a high amount of resource points (game currency), get all technology or conquer all of your opponents.

My game is awesome and amazing because it has a highly interesting base concept, great gameplay and is a fun game altogether.
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10. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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badge
Please check out my student game design Geeklists! You rock!
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Microbadge: Mercury - hellhole of the solar systemMicrobadge: Are the cones a metaphor? Well, yes and no.Microbadge: RPG Geek of the Week!Microbadge: Chaotic NeutralMicrobadge: Game Teacher
Real Estate Mania by B.K.
From gallery of funkdonut

Players buy homes in auctions against each other. Players earn different amounts of money once they sell different types of homes they have already bought. In this game players can’t let other players get big profits, but other players need that too. Play this thrilling and fun game.

On each turn players have three actions. During these actions they can move a space, start an auction or sell a home. Players interact with each other during the open auctions.

I chose this theme because I enjoy real estate and might want to be a real estate agent when I grow up. I also chose this theme because I have never played a game like it before and thought that it would be a lot of fun.
The mechanics in by game are auctions and buying and selling. Every time a house is bought it must go through an open auction with the players to decide who gets the home. Players are buying the homes in the auctions and then selling the homes to earn money and hopefully a profit.

Once all homes are sold the game is over. The player that has the most money at the end of the game wins. All of the other players lose the game.

My game is awesome because it’s a very creative idea that I haven’t seen before. It’s also very fun and all of the players start to get a little competitive which makes my game amazing.
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11. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Mazing Spies by G.Z.
From gallery of funkdonut

You are a spy working for an undercover spy agency and you have just been informed that the rival agency is planning on bombing your base! You and your spy team need to break into their secret base and do whatever you can to prevent them from accomplishing their goal. Go through the maze and gather as many helpful gadgets as you can without getting caught. Use the gadgets to collect points and the spy with the most points in the end, wins!

On a player’s turn, they can move a spy(s), pick up a tile(s), or place a trap(s). A player can use any one of these moves up to four times per turn. To gain or lose points, players must go to a circle on the board that has a tile and pick up the tile. If the tile is a ‘helpful’ gadget, then the player would get points based on which specific gadget it was. Likewise, if the tile is a ‘harmful’ gadget, then players would lose points. If a player wanted to decrease the points of an opposing player, they could ‘place a trap’ by using one of their four possible moves to move onto the same circle as the targeted opponent and then using one of their given trap tiles. The player who was targeted would then lose points accordingly. But none of these points can count unless players get their star tile first. If the game were to end and a player still hasn’t gotten their star tile, then that player would have zero points no matter how many or what kind of tiles they had obtained throughout the game.

I chose this theme because I wanted to give players a sense of tension and excitement that real spies might face when on a mission.

Game Mechanics: Modular Board, Paper-and-Pencil, Point to Point Movement, Push Your Luck

Players win by having the most number of points at the end of the game. The points are scored depending on what kind of game pieces they have at the end of the game and whether or not they have their star tile. If a player doesn’t have their star tile by the end of the game, they automatically lose.

My game is awesome and amazing because it’s luck and decisions all rolled into one. The luck keeps the players on their feet, yet at the same time they are able to make their own decisions on the general outcome of their spy team. There are many possibilities on how a player could move and different twists and turns in the game that would keep a player’s interest. So why not take a chance and join the Mazing Spies?
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12. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Storage Wars: Game Board Edition by M.W.
From gallery of funkdonut

Short Description: This board game gives players the opportunity to run a successful second hand shop, by buying and selling items from storage units. These units could hold priceless treasures, or items worth nothing at all. The items take on the form of cards, that list the value at the bottom, so there is nothing to get appraised. Players must take the plunge and make important decisions that could either make them Win or lose. Money owns this town.

The game isn’t played in turns. A turn is played when all of the players(or those who want the unit) bid. The first card is flipped over so people are able to get an idea of what may be in the unit, and then they bid until all the other players drop - out and/or unable to spend anymore money. The player that won the cards is able to store their cards for later or cash them in for money at their discard pile.

I chose this theme because I love to watch this show! The things they find in the storage units are often very interesting, and the suspense of each auction makes the show addicting. I wanted to make all of these qualities into a board game.

Game Mechanics: Bidding/Auctioning, Card Drafting

How to win: Have the most money by the end of the game.

My game is awesome because it's enjoyable to play and easy to understand. The playtesters liked it because there weren’t tons of rules to remember and they could mostly learn as they played.
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13. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Preschool Gangs by H.C.
From gallery of funkdonut

It is the first day of preschool and little gangs of evil little demons (really just preschoolers) are bent on controlling the playground. Thugs, sidekicks, and other kids will have to work together to beat the other gangs in a race of control. Each preschooler has their own power, but by the end of the day, only one gang can win!

On each turn, each player has four options, and has to choose three. On each turn you are able to do three of four options.The four options are: Move one of your cubes to one space, stay in an area (if you are already in the area), such as the sandbox, jungle gym, pool, etc, leave an area of the playground by moving two squares away, or move into an area of the playground (if you are able to do so, see restrictions). You can use your options on different cubes, or all on the same cube. You could use three of the same option, or three different options. After every turn a player takes, the sidekick needs to move towards the gang leader one space. In addition, the teacher is moved one space at the end of each turn. The components interact with each other because the pieces can stop other pieces from gaining points by controlling the area they want to control.

I chose this theme because it is fun to fantasize about little kids ganging up on each other. The preschool component makes the whole theme unique and more fun.

Mechanics: Variable player powers, area control, and area movement

Players win when they have the most number of points when the time is up. They gain points by gaining control of an area or being affected by a player power. They lose points when they leave the Principal’s Office, when they lose control of an area, or when affected by a player power. Time is measured by a time piece.

My game is awesome and amazing because it is fun to think about, since cute little preschoolers are ganging up together. Also, this game gives a lot of freedom to players, since they can move the teacher each turn, and move within the constraints to wherever they want.
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14. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Ocieano by C.M.
From gallery of funkdonut

You are a sailor in the land of Ocieano. Your goal is to gather the resources on your scoring card by gathering them off the islands or trading.

There are two parts to your turn. The first being sailing to an island that is connected to the island you are on by a black line, and picking up a piece. On each island there will be four face down pieces. You may only stay on an island for a maximum of three turns. Every four turns there is a trading round. On this round the youngest person will say what they say what they would like to purchase and if anyone has that they will say what they want. You may only offer up to two things and demand up to two things. If no deal is made the next person in a clockwise order goes.

I chose my theme because I really enjoy sailing. I also enjoy rock hounding (looking for rocks) and other neat stuff outdoors.

Game Mechanics: Set collection, Trading, and Area movement

To win you must complete three scoring cards that you will draw one at a time randomly. You may not take your next scoring card till you have completed your current one

My game is awesome and amazing because it’s fun, interesting, and sometimes annoying. It’s fun because you can trade to get what you need or sail and get lucky pieces off the island. It can be annoying though when you don’t get the pieces you need and you can make a deal to trade with someone. This is why my game is awesome and amazing.
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15. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Nwindustry by N.D., AKA Starfishman
From gallery of funkdonut

Nwindustry is a game of money, power, expansion, and most of all, ethics. Each player is the CEO of one of the companies that have been founded on the newly discovered continent of Nwin, and are trying to become more successful than their competitors. There are multiple ways that this can be achieved. Through becoming the richest, biggest, or most ethical.

A turn of Nwindustry is rather unconventional, with all players semi-simultaneously performing their actions. The turn is split into four steps:

The first of these is the “Money Collection” phase, which itself is split into the “Ability Use” and “Collection” phases. In the “Ability Use” step, players can sabotage other players’ factories and choose whether or not to use their factories ethically. In the “Collection” step, players receive money based on the factories they have.

The second step of the turn, “Expansion” is also split into two phases. In the first, “Factory Purchase,” players, as you would assume, purchase factories for money, with the price increasing with each factory you buy. There is a way to reduce these additional costs costs unethically, however. In the second step, “Factory Placement,” players, obviously, place the factories that the purchased earlier. There are some specific rules regarding the placement of the two different types of factories, land and water, which we will not divulge into now.

The third step of a turn is “Flipping.” In the “Flipping” step, players who are either ethical or unethical flip a coin a to see if they will receive money (ethical) or have to pay money (unethical.) It becomes more likely that you will gain or lose money the more ethical or unethical you are.

The fourth and final step of a turn is “Charity.” In the “Charity” step, players may donate money to the charity pot to become more ethical. Money that is put in the charity pot can be won back later if you are ethical enough.

There are three ways to win in Nwindustry. The first is through having a ton of money, the next through controlling many factories, and the last, but not least, is achieved by being the most ethical.

Now, I chose to make a game about companies and, more specifically, ethics because I think that ethics, at least as a choice with the ethical and unethical directions both having benefits and drawbacks, is relatively uncommon in games, at least ones that I, not-very-knowledgeable-about-games person that I am, have played.

Now you may be wondering, why would anyone want to play this game? Well, there are multiple reasons that you might want to play Nwindustry. The first and foremost being that it’s a pretty fun game. I do have a biased opinion, but really, other people have said that too, and I’m going to assume that their not just being nice. Another reason you might want to play Nwindustry is that you’re intrigued by the ethical aspects of it. But I think that the thing that will get you to want to play Nwindustry is the subliminal messages being transmitted from these paragraphs. Put on your tinfoil helmets, people!

Thanks,
N.D. (AKA Starfishman)
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16. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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PRISONER 405...WILL YOU ESCAPE? by E.B.
From gallery of funkdonut

As a prisoner in the most famous prison in America, you are bound to feel the urge to leave. Players take turn racing each other to collect the keys that lead to their escape. They will travel around the island and avoid guards that are sent places by their opponents. to win, is to be the first one to escape.

A turn in Prisoner 405, is quite simple. Each player will have 5 cards in their hand at all times in the game. The person whose turn it is will choose a card from their hand, read it aloud, and follow the instructions written on the card. After a player has done so, they will move a guard pawn two spaces from their current location. The players want to stay away from the guards and send them towards their opponents pieces. If a guard lands on them, they must go back to their cell(start). If a player lands on a star space then they get a situation card, which has directions that can either help or hurt the player.As players move round and round the board, they must collect the keys set on different building around the island.

I choose this theme because it is a well known subject, the subject of prisons and of Alcatraz. Though it is a common subject, you do not see it set in games very often, which I think makes it unique.

Mechanics: Hand Management, Set Collection, and A small amount of Push your Luck.

A player wins when they collect three cell keys from different buildings of the island, and they have collected the single boat house key. They now can escape by means of boat, and do not have to test their luck with a cold swim in the bay. My game is awesome and amazing because the theme is so common, yet so well used and put to the game in a good way!
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17. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Space Race by F.V.
From gallery of funkdonut

Players travel around space trying to collect parts of satellites that have gone astray. The objective of the game is to get to all four corners of the board to collect four satellite parts. There are 3 moves per turn and while moving, little blue tiles can be collected. The tiles have points on them that can either be used to buy a space card, or saved until the end of the game. The space cards can either help players, or be used against other players. I picked this theme because space is so big and full of opportunities.

Game Mechanics: Area movement and Commodity speculation.

The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the game. Points are gathered from blue tiles. The first player to collect all four satellite squares then make it back to the space station gets 15 extra points. The game ends once the first player gets back.

Space Race is a great game that is fun, competitive, and exciting. It is a game that all ages will enjoy and compete evenly. The game also takes strategy because you need to decide whether to go for the blue tiles, or the satellite squares. Either way, you’ll have a blast playing Space Race!
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18. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Dolphin Swim by E.N.
From gallery of funkdonut

Dolphin swim is a game where each person is a dolphin trying to cross the ocean. Each dolphin crosses from one island to another while picking up combinations of fish and squid. When a dolphin makes it to the ending island, the number of combinations collected by each individual player is counted. Players then compare to see which dolphin ended with the most food.

On one turn a player may move 3 spaces forward. The player can then collect whatever cube, if there is one, shares the space they end their turn on. They must then place the cube on their pattern. Sometimes the player draws a card. The player must use that card on the turn they are currently on.

I chose the theme dolphins because I already knew a little about dolphins, so my game could be started with the information i already knew, then added to and enhanced as my knowledge of dolphins grew.

Players can win by ending the game with the highest number of combinations. They can also win by being closest to their ending island when one type of cube is gone, or being closest to their ending island in a tie, when the person that ends the game is not part of the tie. You lose by having the smallest number of your combination of fish and squid.
I think the best components of my game are the theme, the unique use of the combinations, and the many different ways to win. I also like the matching colors of the dolphin pieces and their corresponding islands.
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19. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Paris Panic by J.R.
From gallery of funkdonut

The Catacombs are filled with men and women wanting bones, but most importantly money! Take the stage as an Architect or a Thief to get as many points as possible as well as make yourself famous!

Players have different skill sets depending on their class:

Thieves: They have 9 moves per turn, a pickpocket ability, and can hold three bones at one time. To perform a pickpocket first spend a penny, then move the adequate number of spaces to reach the desired player, pickpocket a bone and then move away three spaces if possible. If you cannot perform any of these steps then you cannot pickpocket.

Architects: They have 7 moves per turn, a tunneling ability, and can hold five bones at a time. To perform a tunnel you must be at an edge and have a penny to use to make a tunnel. When you make a tunnel you put down the tunnel piece and move.

You have to enter a bone chamber to pick up bones. The bone chamber’s value is indicated by the number in the center. (3=higher, 1=lower) Thieves and architects interact with each other by having special abilities and markets.

I chose this theme because I like the Catacombs and treasure hunts. I also like history and different cultures.

Some of the mechanics in Paris Panic are: pick-up and deliver, player powers, and set number of turns and items.

Players win when there is a player with no bones in their inventory, ie. all bones sold, and at least 15 points. No one can “lose” until someone gets 15 points and has no bones left.

My game is awesome and amazing because the catacombs can be a crazy place with riches, danger, and bones!
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20. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Viral: The Internets Fear by H.C.
From gallery of funkdonut

Viral is a game about getting rid of viruses. You are an anti-virus system, and your job is to get rid of the infected web. This game is very confusing to play and set up but the gameplay is very fun. Viral is a game of strategy, memory, and lucky rolling skills.

To play Viral you get 3 moves to go around. When you land on a tile you flip over the number and try to roll the same number. You get 3 tries for getting the number. There are 4 rings of tiles until the center tiles/mainframe. To get the mainframe one ring of tiles has to be gone. When you get the center tile you get 4 tries to roll the number if it is under 10. If it is over 10 then you get 2 rolls to get it. That would count as 1 move. You get 2 moves to guess if over 10. When someone gets the center piece you replace it with another. The way to move around is a point-to-point movement system. So there are always multiple ways to get to each piece. The scoring is the further into the center the more points it is. So the first ring is 1 point, second 2 points, third 3 points, forth 5 points, and center 10 points.

I chose this theme of getting rid of viruses because I have always been a computer person. Also because I have had to get rid of viruses and hackers on my computers many times. So I thought I could use my skill with the Web, Computers, and Viruses to make a game.

My game uses point-to-point movement, Strategy, memory, and luck. The movement is use so players always have many ways to get around the board. The strategy is for your mind to know how to get points and when to get them. The memory is for remembering about where the tiles you saw already and knowing what they are. Finally the luck is for getting the rolls to match up with the numbers you want.

Players win or lose in my game on how many points each player has. The scoring is for each tile of a different color and size is a different point amount. If players tie with point amounts then they have to get another point. So the first one to get the next point wins. For the game to end 2 rings have to be gone. The center tiles are not part of the winning stage for the game to be over.

My game is Awesomely Amazing because it is an original idea and a very cool board. The game is original because there isn’t another game about stopping viruses in this way. Also the way the board is set up is also a new idea. The board is set up so every tile is on it. The board is a spoked wheel design. So the players are on the very outside of the board and move in. That is why my game is awesome.
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21. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Quest for the Holy Land by F.D.
From gallery of funkdonut

Welcome to the Middle Ages! You are located in Italy, the center of trade and commerce of this time. You are the lord of your not quite splendid manor...yet.... Your job is to make your manor the highest ranked most loved manor of all time by going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land! In order to accomplish your goal of reaching the Holy Land, you must acquire the necessary items for your pilgrimage to be successful.

Each turn players pick a movement card, and move the amount of spaces it tells you. If you reach someone’s manor in your turn you have the option of either going to their Smithy, Market, or Church. In the Market you can trade items with that player. In the smithy you can build inventions with the items you traded. You must have the correct items to be able to create certain inventions. At the end of the game you must return to your church in order to make your trip to the Holy Land. You may only do this when you have acquired all of the inventions and items necessary for the trip.

I chose the medieval theme because I really like that time period and I thought it would be a fun subject to make a game out. It’s really interesting to me.
Game Mechanics: Trading, Set Collection, Variable Player Powers, Story Telling, Area Movement

A player wins when he/she has acquired all of the items and inventions necessary to make the trip to the Holy Land. When they return to the church in their manor they move their pawn to the Holy Land spot and win.

My game is wonderful because of its creativity and theme. I think people would really enjoy the medieval theme and the fact that they’re trading with all of their fellow players.
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22. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Mr. Fox's Egg Hunt by K.B.
From gallery of funkdonut

Satisfy your immense hunger by traveling around the grasslands of Birdy Town and chomping up the delicious eggs that you see before you. No one can stop you from completely indulging on colorful eggs unless of course another fox snatches it up before you. Don’t run into a dead end or you must turn around or switch your path. Tiles will take you there but only you have the ability to make the right decisions so choose wisely.

Players will get a card which gives them a hunger mission telling them what egg types to eat. This is how they progress in the game and collect points. Players can be going for the same eggs at the same time which creates tension and interaction. As I said before players will use tiles to get around the board. These tiles have pathways marked on them and in each move a player can place and move on the tile. There are other options a player has during their move. They can rotate tiles, swap tiles, or even swap out their mission cards if the eggs they need happen to be gone. Because the placing and distribution of pieces and components are all done randomly it keeps the game different each time and creates a replayable experience.

Mechanics: Card Drafting, Point to Point Movement, Tile Placement,

I think my game is really great because it has a very unique and original theme and presents it in a not so traditional way. In the game you are a fox stealing eggs to eat. In most situations this would be thought of as the bad guy. So in my game instead of being the hero themed game where you are trying to be the best person that you can be you are stealing from innocent birds and eating them.
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23. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Microbadge: Mercury - hellhole of the solar systemMicrobadge: Are the cones a metaphor? Well, yes and no.Microbadge: RPG Geek of the Week!Microbadge: Chaotic NeutralMicrobadge: Game Teacher
Deck 21 by M.M.
From gallery of funkdonut

December 21, 2012 has come and life as we know has ended. Your job is to build a city as a haven for the few survivors of the Mayan apocalypse. Using the supplies and tools found on the board, you expand your settlement, collecting more people to live in it. In the end, the player with the most survivors in their settlement wins!

Game components include supplies such as bricks, boards, and water, and tools such as hammers and canteens. You use the tools to build buildings, wells, and bridges with the supplies collected. I chose this theme because as the date comes closer, the supposed apocalypse is becoming a frequent topic of conversation in the media and day-to-day life. People are very interested in the end of the world, and although most people don’t believe it, it’s still interesting.

Game mechanics include action-point allowance (4 moves per turn), a specialty mechanic, (players must combine collected pieces), and trading (players trade supplies and tools).

The game ends when all of the people pieces have been collected. The player with the most people living in their settlement wins the game. My game is very unique and complicated and uses a lot of strategy and skill.
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24. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Microbadge: Mercury - hellhole of the solar systemMicrobadge: Are the cones a metaphor? Well, yes and no.Microbadge: RPG Geek of the Week!Microbadge: Chaotic NeutralMicrobadge: Game Teacher
Econic by C.C.
From gallery of funkdonut

Econic is a game where players are their own corporation trying to make it to the top of the economic scale. In this game you are all fighting for one thing, POWER! There has been a discovery of where to find valuable resources, and you want it all.

On a player’s turn, he or she can trade with other players for money or resources. They can also trade with the I.M.B. (international money bank). As they move, they can be blocked by territory of opposite players, or even crash into a plane and have to pay up. Watch out.

I chose this concept because it shows how a company prospers through trade and money exchange (like Fro-Yo). This game also shows how people trade and gain money in various ways. This is a money, territory control, pick up and deliver, and a stock holding type game where you can block players from your precious resources, get mining tiles, and hold money. This game end when 3 or more resources are gone or if one player gets all of one resource. Win by having the most points from money, resources, and mining cards. This game is awesome because it’s like a mixture of monopoly and other money/trading games on this new, prosperous gamer market.
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25. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2626]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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designer
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Please check out my student game design Geeklists! You rock!
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Microbadge: Mercury - hellhole of the solar systemMicrobadge: Are the cones a metaphor? Well, yes and no.Microbadge: RPG Geek of the Week!Microbadge: Chaotic NeutralMicrobadge: Game Teacher
Penguin Crossing: Saving Penguins from Extinction, One Waddle at a Time by M.B.
From gallery of funkdonut


You are a colony of penguins in Antarctica, where the habitat destroyer known as global warming has split up your home into different islands of ice. Due to overfishing by humans, there aren’t many fish left, and the leopard seals and killer whales are hungry for penguins. By swimming out into the cold sea, you’re trying to spread out onto all of the ice islands to save the penguins from extinction!

Players control a colony of penguins in a two-dimensional arctic landscape. Each player takes turns either moving their penguins across ice islands and into the cold arctic waters, eating fish, or moving killer whales, leopard seals, or pollution, which can be used to eliminate other players’ penguins. Your primary objective is to spread out onto the other ice islands so that you can continue the species. Also, you want to collect fish along the way, and avoid the predators. You get points for reproducing, eating fish, and for eliminating your opponents’ penguins with the predators.

Mechanics: Action Point Allowance, Simulation, Area Movement

Players win according to most points scored by eating fish, reproducing, and eliminating other player’s penguins. At the end of the game, penguins that have safely reached another player’s farthest corner space on their island are worth more points. The game ends when all of the fish are gone or when a player has three penguins on each island.

My game is awesome and amazing because the theme is engaging, educational, realistic, and fun. The game has a balance between deciding what to do with your actions, whether that be eating, moving, or killing, along with the threat of nearby predators that your opponents may eliminate you with. Penguins, fish, killer whales, and leopard seals are all present in the arctic, not to mention pollution. This game educates people about pollution and global warming, as there is pollution in the water, not enough fish due to overfishing, and the penguins’ habitat is being melted and destroyed by global warming, giving it a scientific aspect and a real world scenario.
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