Mechanics Challenge Strike
Mechanics Challenge Strike by Geomag is a construction game for children of ages 7+.
The set comes with 185 pieces total, excluding the manual: 24 metal marbles and 161 plastic pieces for the base of the mechanism. The manual contains step-by-step instructions on how to assemble the game and board, how to play, basic rules and variations, and different levels of difficulty. The player starts by assembling the strike mechanism. The marbles are then picked up from the ball pit and thrown into the chute, where they enter a gravity-based motor which, in turn, spins the rotor. Players will have to time their additions to the chute so that the rotor spins fast enough to make the swinging magnetic rods knock over the pins, but not so quickly that the gravity motor jams.
This game promotes engineering in all portions of gameplay. During setup, spatial reasoning and critical thinking is honed. During normal gameplay, pattern recognition and perseverance is learned in the quest to avoid jams and find the necessary speed to knock down the pins. During jam clearing, the problem is analyzed to avoid the same jam occurring again. Throughout, it combines magnetism and mechanical construction to stimulate creativity and ingenuity. Players can visualize the motion of rotation in the structure as it triggers a chain reaction generated by the attraction and repulsion of magnets.
Mechanics Challenge Strike is an educational game that promotes imagination and logic while facilitating the understanding of physics concepts, such as the creation of magnetic fields and the forces of attraction and repulsion.
Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S. (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and development. Journal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.
One reviewer said,
"I really like this game. It is very easy and fun to assemble and the instructions are easy to follow. I initially believed it would be extremely easy to make the elevator work as I wanted, but quickly realized it was quite the challenge. I liked that it took some iterative design to figure out the best process to get the elevator working. It is not so difficult that younger players would give up, but also not so easy that older players will be bored with how fast they complete it. Overall, this toy is really fun and challenging."