Emerging Technologies and Edtech May 30, 2014

Country of Origin: United States
Languages: English
Developer: Learning Games Network
Publisher: Learning Games Network
Year Published:    2012
Website: http://www.quandrygame.com
Platforms: Web (Flash)
Genre: Interactive Narrative
Age Range: 8-14, though even our adult reviewers found something to enjoy here
Subjects: Civics, Social Studies, Reading

Quandary puts players in charge of a fledgling planetary colony whose ruling council is made up of twelve diverse community members: the doctor, the farmer, the historian, etc. During play, various crises arise, and with the help of the community members, players need to resolve the crisis in one of many different ways. Resolving each crisis is a three-step process that includes distinguishing fact from opinion, choosing what the player regards as the best possible solution, and then getting feedback from the fictional community about the solution.

Quandary has a slick, well-made interface that should present no problems to anyone familiar with a mouse. High-quality illustrations make the game appealing from the get-go, but the large amount of reading and comprehension can make the game feel slow to players who have trouble in those areas or are looking for more action.

Although Quandary can feel slow-paced, the enormous amount of content makes it highly replayable and fosters discussion between players as they talk about their choices. Discussion prompts included in the game and in learning guides attached to the game help build classroom discussions about leadership, democracy and civic process.