I am looking for an online counterpart of a physical activity to conduct in a workshop. The physical activity had the following characteristics which I would like to keep in the online activity.

Repeatable: performing the same steps yields the same outcome each time
Strategy: participants employ a certain strategy to solve a problem
Collaborative: participants team up and combine their strategies to yield a better strategy
Measurable: the goodness of the outcome can be quantified in more than one way

To better explain the above points, the details of the physical activity are as follows. Participants are given a "maker box" containing miscellaneous items: tape, glue, cardboard, rubber bands, scissors, cutters, paper, paper clips, sticks, ruler, pens, pencils, etc. Each participant has to improvise and put together a paper clip launcher that propels a paper clip like a projectile. Participants then pair up, explain their design to their partner, and collaboratively build a new launcher incorporating some ideas from each of the 2 designs. Each team can set its own goals for the goodness of its launcher in terms of the distance covered by the projectile, the height reached by the projectile, the number of projectiles, etc.

The closest online counterpart I can think of is a strategy game, or maybe a physics simulator. But I am having trouble finding anything specific.

Please suggest a game or an environment which meets the above criteria and is simple enough that people can quickly engage with it without training or special installation.

1 Answer 1


Game recommendations can depend on the platform used to play them. For example, a good source of PC games is Steam, but that will require downloading the Steam client, setting up a free account for each player, and downloading the game on each machine. However, those games might not be available on an iOS or android device. So, if you have a specific platform in mind, that can help narrow the results. If you want to attempt a universal option, you might be able to look for browser games, but even those are not guaranteed to work for everyone.

As far as places to look:
iOS: App store
Android: Play store
PC: Steam, GOG, (there's a lot of these)
Browser: Kongregate, itch.io, (there's even more of these)

This also will depend on how complicated you want these games to be. For example, something like Kerbal Space Program might be too complicated for some.

As far as ideas on where to start looking (lists are using the Steam store, but most game stores have genre tags you can filter by):
- Physics-based puzzles games like maybe Beseige, Poly Bridge, TABS or Crayon Physics. A subcategory of these would be "contraption builder" games.
- Tower Defense games such as Bloons or Plants vs Zombies
- Programming games like say LogicBots or 7 Billion Humans
* some of these are available on multiple platforms

Other options could be something like challenges in a game. For example, making a redstone contraption in Minecraft

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