I love when I am come across a great science game. Global, Math and ELA are so easily immersed in games through theme, interaction and mechanics. But science is not so easy to come across. I have mentioned Bolide and Fauna, two fantastic games with a strong science theme. I should mention that Fauna recently got an English printing by FoxMind Games. I can recommend a third to add that list, Strain by HungryRobot.

In Strain, students are building microscopic organisms with cytoplasms and organelles. The various cytoplasms and organelles add to the organism’s defense, toxins and Adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP). The students can use these elements to launch attacks at their opponents organisms and defend their own as they try to complete organisms to score points. Students can also infect other player’s organisms with viruses which the host organisms needs to remove using their supply of toxins. Most of these actions are done by spending the pooled ATP of the player’s organisms. ATP is the energy currency molecule of the cell so using it to purchase elements is nice thematic touch. That is what is so great about Strain, a lot of though was put into bringing the theme and the science through in the game.

A fast and fun game with some “take that” elements, Strain is a great addition to any game library. It is for 2 to 7 players and plays in a little over 30 minutes but that can easily be adjusted lessening the score needed or just playing for a set time.

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