A Tower Defence Game With A Climate Change Twist

By the time it really hits you that flash-based tower defence game Rizk is actually teaching you about climate change, you might be enjoying yourself too much to care.

On the outside, Rizk is a strikingly stark and stylishly simple example of tower defence. You begin each level with a plant, tasked to ensure that it grows to maturity. Resources scattered about the map are yours to harvest, providing the energy needed by your plant to grow, while three different types of defender units can be deployed, providing your growing bud protection from attack.

What's attacking you is based on how much noise you make while you are collecting. Dormant threats are scattered across the game's playfields, only becoming active when disturbed by your activity. If you place a drilling collector next to one of these threats, for example, it will activate, sending damaging spores to attack your plant.

The Science Museum of London created Rizk in order to demonstrate the delicate ecological balance of our planet, and how advancing our own external goals can disturb that balance.

It's a game about risk-versus-reward. A large deposit of resources might seem like an opportune way to quickly grow your plant, but awakening a large threat in the process opens it up to damage that can only be repelled by expensive defender units.

At any given point in the game you can open up a risk assessment map, showing the severity of the risk associated with a specific area, as well as the likelihood at any given time that the threats there will become active.

At the end of each level the player is scored based on the amount of resources they have left to work with, with penalties assessed for unused collectors, unused defenders, and the amount of damage your plant receives. Each end-of-level screen also contains helpful tips, such as "Understanding severity and likelihood of events can help decision makers plan and prepare for the future."

Obviously this is bigger than a simple tower defence game. Rizk demonstrates how delicate a balance must be maintained to keep an environment from undergoing massive changes, while helping players understand how to assess risk and act accordingly.

It's the kind of knowledge the present and future leaders of the world should possess. I'm pleased to see it being distributed in video game form.

Hit up the link below to learn for yourself.

Rizk: The Climate Change Game [Science Museum]


Comments

    It teaches you about climate change? Sure, most games tell fictional stories.

    "It’s the kind of knowledge the present and future leaders of the world should possess. I’m pleased to see it being distributed in video game form.
    Hit up the link below to learn for yourself."

    Im sick of people forcing this crap down our throats. Climate Change activists are the biggest hypocrits. I say those who preach this rubbish should live by what they preach. No car, no aeroplane, no electricity.
    Climate Change is a new 'feel good' religion. How about they do something that actually shows results - not just bringing in another tax.

    http://www.2ue.com.au/blogs/2ue-blog/climate-change-got-an-open-mind/20110214-1at5d.html

    Wow, a lot of ignorant trolls commenting on an interesting thread. Climate change activists aren't saying we cease to consume resources, just that we do it responsibly.
    Taxation is a weak method but it's more effective than forcing people to turn on less electrical appliances (because they won't do it).

    There is a unanimous consensus among global scientists and researchers that climate change is real and is happening. At this point there is sufficient support for it and it really doesn't matter if it's 100% accurate or only partially accurate because the risks associated with a dying ecosystem far outweigh your short-term monetary loss.

    Also, I'm not sure if you've noticed but our weather (Australia) is getting pretty crazy.

      I've always said of the climate change issue:
      "who can we afford to ignore?"
      - A lot of people don't seem to get that if we assume the worst regarding climate change and attempt to do something about it, if it turned out to be wrong, then worst case scenario is people acting with more deliberation and efficiency. Meanwhile if we assume it's wrong and it turns out to be right then we're screwed (or screwed again I should say... considering precedent regarding these sorts of issues - like the droughts and floods that shouldn't have been nearly as bad as they were due to lack of suitable infrastructure)

      Considering the increasingly wacky weather I figure it's time to stop arguing over whether it's mankind's fault or natural progression and just assume that something is up and should maybe be paid more attention to.

      But sadly methinks it's like the piracy argument - education is the only real option, and the two sides otherwise just push relentlessly against each other until everyone in the middle gets squished!
      Hopefully games like this can start a more subtle shift in thinking green - like how the old Incredible Machine games introduced a rudimentary knowledge of physics to primary school students.

    Good, compelling gameplay. Well designed. Balanced message. Wooo!

    Time to go hit up some cellcraft

    http://www.kongregate.com/games/CellCraft/cellcraft

    Really great game with nice graphic.. but I think it is not so user friendly

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