One of Maxis' most underrated games in my opinion, Widget Workshop is a neat computerized "science kit" that lets kids devise gadgets, perform experiments, and design puzzles with the parts given. Like most other Maxis "toys", Widget Workshop is more of a sandbox simulation than a game: you just combine things such as timers, switches, logic gates and other electronic components – and then just observe what happens. This way, kids are encouraged to experiment and be creative, but at the same time the wide range of possibilities means they will likely seek your help to tap into the program's full potential. |
The interface is extremely easy to use. All the parts are shown on-screen, and they can be dragged and dropped onto the workspace area. Mouse clicks are all that is required to connect them all. For example, you can click a keypad widget, connect it to the the solar system "superpart", attach a "multiplier" to it, and finally push the green "Go" button to see what happens. Going through the tutorial once or twice is recommended for the younger kids, so they know what each button does.
If creating your own inventions isn't enough, kids can try to solve the game's 25 challenging puzzles, or conduct thirty pre-defined experiments described in the "Workshop Activities book". The wide range of widgets – ranging from everyday objects like timers and switches, to more complex equipment like the magnifier, logic gates, and thermometer – means that kids will learn a wide array of scientific principles while having fun. Logic, gravity, sound, light, the weather, electricity, computer programming, and arithmetics are some of the subjects kids will learn about without knowing it. Definitely one of the best ways to learn about math and science, Widget Workshop is highly recommended for kids of all ages.
Reviewed by: Underdogs