Odyssey is an all-new engaging and innovative mystery adventure game. Help Kai and her family escape their captors on the Wretched Islands – and learn the history of astronomy, mechanics, and scientific reasoning as you read Kai’s journal and solve puzzles along the way! In this unique and science-based game, the player navigates across a group of islands in the Caribbean in search of a 13-year old girl Kai and her family trapped and waiting to be rescued.
The game has an explicit purpose of teaching astronomy and mechanics from the ancient Greeks to Galileo. It does so by taking the player through an intellectual journey as the player is physically navigating through the islands. Gaming is seamlessly integrated with a historical approach to science and storytelling, through Kai’s in-game journal from which the player learns the story and the science content, which are needed to solve the puzzles. Players can expect a significant amount of reading. The game is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and is ideal for middle school and high school students and for adults who like to read about science.
Developed by The Young Socratics.
Free Strategy Guide with Game!
“’Odyssey’ is edutainment done right with Inspiration from ‘Myst.’ It’s one of the strongest examples of games as educational tools to date.” – Vice
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“If you’re a fan of The Witness, Dear Esther or Myst, Odyssey should intrigue your curious brain.” – GameWatcher
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“The edutainment genre was improved leaps and bounds by this game.” – BagOGames
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“The approach to science education developed in this fine and carefully executed project is both imaginative and compelling, bringing to the players of the game not only an understanding of what science has achieved, but also how it came about, the course of discovery. That is just what is needed to encourage students to become not merely observers, but also creative participants in the marvelous journey of exploration and understanding of our world.” – Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Philosophy, MIT
“This game takes an innovative historical approach to teaching science. It asks the students to engage many of the NGSS science practices such as constructing explanations, developing and using models, and arguing from evidence. Perhaps more importantly, it illuminates how scientific reasoning has led us to build the understanding we have of the Earth’s place in the solar system. From this, a student will begin to get an appreciation of the creative achievement that science represents in an engaging and compelling manner.” – Jonathan Osborne, Professor of Science Education at Stanford University, co-author of A Framework for K-12 Science Education for the NGSS
“Making Science and Math relevant to students calls for new ideas. Odyssey takes you back to how stuff was first discovered, making the players retrace this path and rediscover how the world works — a wonderful 21st century meld of ideas.” – David Mumford, Fields Medalist,National Medal of Science Winner and Professor Emeritus Brown and Harvard Universities
“The Odyssey game offers an important next step for science education in the information age. For most students, knowledge is at their finger tips. The need to recall information has been replaced by the need to discern between potentially opposing positions. The Odyssey game gives students a unique opportunity to learn how to engage in scientific argumentation through gameplay. This is an extraordinary first step for science education.” – Bryan Brown, Associate Professor of Science Education, Stanford University
“I am a 9th grade conceptual physics teacher in the Bay Area and am already thinking of ways to share this game with my students in class. I learned so much from playing this and loved seeing how it helps players to develop scientific knowledge through modeling and argumentation. I feel like I finally understand the evidence that supports our modern understanding of astronomy in a way that could help me explain and teach it to others. This game even gave me ideas for demos I could use in class to teach pendulum motion next year. I am so excited to tell everyone about Odyssey. Great job, and I can’t wait for the sequel! – Mary Clare Bernal, Science Teacher, Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School
“The premise of the game is to lead students through a learning journey which follows in the paths of the great scientists. The game has students recreate the discoveries of the past while engaging them in a current story which will fascinate and challenge them. This game helps students to see science the way they should – with inquiring minds and from various perspectives.” – Jenny Garcia, Science Department Chair, Saratoga High School
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The only thing wrong with this game is that it ends and the next one is not released yet.
Yes, this game is very different from the Nancy Drew games Her Interactive is known for. The controls (maneuvering especially) are different. There is no handy task list or the ability to call a friend for a hint. But that doesn’t make this game bad, just different. One difference that I actually enjoyed was that there is no real sense of urgency. With ND games, there’s always some criminal or supernatural case you are supposed to solve; sometimes I got so nerved out I would have to pause the game to calm down. With Odyssey, it’s more like a friend left behind a bunch of notes when they moved and you are exploring the things they left behind. It is a very calming game.
Additionally, it is much more interactive. You are encouraged to explore the same things that Kai did, to mess with models instead of just finding the right answer. There were a few models where I got the ‘right’ answer quickly to open the next thing, but went back to see that happens with other conditions. You absolutely to read the journal entries though before you start with each model. Some, maybe most models, are confusing if you don’t know what concept they are trying to explain.
This game covers two tracts of scientific development - the gradual switch from the flat earth model to the heliocentric model, and the development of the physics of motion.
The two parts had fairly different feels to it. The first was very science fair experiment - testing things out just to see what would happen. It felt like a young girl being guided by her parents to discover things for herself. In hindsight, we already know what the answers are, but getting there is as important as getting the right answer, and there are a lot of fun things to try on the way.
The second felt more like an informal lecture - some of the phrasings made me feel like I was back in school, but perhaps in a small classroom where the teacher could afford to make sure everyone was able to follow along. It was more guided and some answers had to be feed to you rather than discovered yourself. (It also took me until this long to realize I was effectively following the power lines from point to point). The lock on the puzzle safe felt a little like a midterm exam, combining all the knowledge you had gathered on pendulum motion.
It took me, a scientifically educated adult who had at least passing knowledge about the topics, about 6 hours to get through the entire game. I had no trouble with maneuvering in this game, though it does take a little time to turn around. The only time I had issues with the motion was going up and down ladders - the rungs go past far too fast. The graphics are beautiful and well integrated - no loading scenes or clear shifts between areas. Other than a short message in the beginning there are no voices in this game; I would have liked captioning, but it wasn’t truly necessary.
This game is only the first part of a two part game - in the future they should really be marketed together. Since only the first part is available now, it does leave the player on a bit of a cliffhanger. A positive cliffhanger - you just solved puzzle getting you into a new area - but Kai and her family are still waiting for you. I do plan on getting the second half of this game when it comes out, if only to give them a happy ending.
I agree with the sentiments of a few of the below reviewers. This is NOT like the Nancy Drew games. I was really looking forward to a possible diversion from the next year that I'll be waiting on Midnight in Salem, alas, I actually feel motion-sick and get a headache playing this game.
After a multitude of speed and maneuvering adjustments on the settings windows and right at 2 hours of total game play over a few sessions I had to give up.
Spectacularly beautiful to look at when nothing is moving but completely impossible for me to play. As a point of reference here, I do not get motion sick from boats, planes, cars or any other type of real world movement. It's just this game.
The puzzles I was able to get through are so great for young adults/maybe teens but with no difficulty increase options it's not as challenging as the current ND titles when played on Senior Detective levels.
Hope this helps others contemplating the download, happy sleuthing!
Though I do miss the Nancy Drew series, this game is more adaptive to young audiences who need to learn science and puzzle solving. In addition, it has beautiful scenery and an open-world feel. Not too difficult to transition to from your typical mainstream games. Loved it.
I'm a homeschool mom of three and have played every Nancy Drew game there is (except the Dossiers) and have been waiting months... I mean MONTHS for Midnight in Salem to come out. I bought this game hoping it would be like reliving the "Myst, Riven, Uru" days but it was disappointing. As much as I liked the educational aspect of it and how well they explained things someone please send a copy to B.o.B! The navigation aspect of the game was so frustrating I couldn't keep playing the game. Good education, graphics are pretty good, story line.... meh puzzles... some good/some meh... navigation ....terrible. Please release new Nancy Drew!!!
Since there has not been a Nancy Drew game released in quite some time, I thought that I would give this game a try. In short, I wish that I had not bought it.
-Beautiful Environment. The water and island scenery are truly gorgeous.
-Great for teaching students science and reasoning. The journal is extremely informative and educational. The game focuses on teaching people to think through scientific principles rather than just accepting facts written in a book. It is well-written in that you can easily follow Kai's line of reasoning. I can see why a science teacher would like this game.
-The storyline is not compelling. Honestly, it is just boring. I found that I did not really care about finding Kai and her family.
-The "puzzles" were disappointing. I put puzzles in quotes because you don't really have to solve anything. All you do (most of the time) is move things around based on what you read in the journal. I felt like I was regurgitating information for a test review.
-There is a lot of dull reading. I love to read. I have played all of the Nancy Drew games (and loved them), so I am no stranger to reading copious amounts of material in order to solve the mystery. In those games, I found myself wanting to read everything. In Odyssey, I found myself wishing the game was over already. Reading the journal was like reading a dull, dry textbook.
-This is not a pro or con for me, but you have to control your movement with the keyboard and your field of vision with the mouse.
Ultimately, the game was disappointing. I wanted to like it, but I just did not. Maybe it gets better, but after playing it for quite some time, I just did not want to play it anymore. It was not because the game was too difficult. It was just not entertaining.
It's an absoluteley brilliant introduction to astronomy and succeeds to show the player how the perception of our world changed over the centuries.
Puzzle difficulty is right on the spot.
Please produce the sequel.
I cannot wait to play the end of this journey through the history of astronomy physics.
Keep on producing such games. This is a really brilliant way to teach scientific topics to a broad audience.
As a Nancy Drew game fan I was so excited to see a new game available on this site. Although I loved the graphics and educational aspect of the game, the game play was nowhere near the level of sophistication that I have come to expect from HER Interactive. Also, the puzzles were quite simplistic and the game offered no ability to increase the level of difficulty. That being said, I do hope HER Interactive continues to produce more games like this, with a little work it could evolve into a great game.
As a teacher, I think this game would be a great educational tool. It is great because you get to see Kai reflect on the same lines as the great thinkers of the past. You are not simply told that the earth is not flat, you follow her along as she proves it is not flat. It is a great way to help kids interact with the material in a format that calls upon them to move to higher levels of thinking. For middle schoolers it might be a little difficult but high schoolers should be able to work with this material without too much trouble. It is certainly appropriate, though challenging, for both age groups. This game is truly indicative of the value of a liberal arts education for students; incorporating science, philosophy, math, history, and more. As an educational tool this game deserves 5 stars.
The graphics are fantastic though they sometimes fade out in the distance. The game was a little short but it does say that the second part is forthcoming. If possible in the future I would recommend them being sold as a bundle.
My main complaint with this game was the navigation. Unlike Nancy Drew games this was not a point and click adventure. It involved a lot of hand coordination to navigate using the keyboard which I personally do not have. If I had been using a game console controller I think it would have been easier. As it were I was constantly spending time trying to turn around.
If you are looking for something that is just like the Nancy Drew Games, this isn't it. That does not change Odyssey's individual value.
Overall this is a wonderful game and if it weren't for the navigation issues and length it would be getting 5 stars from me.
I absolutely loved this game and would recommend this game to any Nancy Drew fan looking for something new to play.
10 to Adult
August 16, 2017
OS X: 10.6.8 Snow Leopard/10.7 Lion/10.8 Mountain Lion/10.9 Mavericks/10.10 Yosemite or higher. Will not run on Mojave or Catalina