Educational Puzzle Game Sweeps H-C

By: Garrett Mock

For the past several days, Homer-Center students and faculty have been puzzled at a game that is sweeping the classes and provoking teamwork and problem-solving skills that can alter the entire game. The game is called Breakout EDU, a multi-staged puzzle game where players must work together methodically to solve puzzles and stop a timer before it runs out.

This version of the game was focused on Ancient China, from the first few dynasties. To finish the game, players had to crack puzzles ranging from mathematical skills to history and memory skills. The puzzles are difficult and require out-of-the-box thinking, and it can be frustrating at times----especially when you have to open five locks to win the game. The Ancient China game was created by Mrs. Chris Yurky, a social studies teacher at Homer-Center.

“I have played many of these games, and you can actually purchase different kits from the website,” said the social studies teacher, “but I wanted to create my own game. I’m a game lover, so this was fun for me to create. You can also pick from different subjects, like science or literature, so it can apply to many teachers.”

The game used many different objects: from Sudoku, maps, an ultraviolet flashlight, codes, pictures, Chinese domino's and coins, and a compass rose. The elaborate game is also set at a time, so if you do not unlock the last box----you lose!

The students of Mr. Steven Hall’s history class were stumped at some parts, but managed to work through all the puzzles. The first team solved the puzzle in twenty-seven minutes, while the other team finished in thirty.

“The point of the Breakout EDU is to allow students to practice team-building and communication skills,” said Mr. Hall. “I know every student isn’t the best test taker, so this allows them to demonstrate their understanding through a more creative way, and it pushes them to work against the clock. It is a version of an Escape Room, where family and friends can go, but the Breakout EDU allows us to apply what we just learned into puzzles where they use their understanding of the unit they learned. I recommend that every teacher tries the kits and try to incorporate them into their curriculum.”

As students continue to play and work together against the clock, more kits are planned to be made or purchased to continue the great aspects the game develops. It is an interesting experience, and takes a variety of thinking and communication skills to beat the game.

Give it a try! Who knows----you may actually like them!