Some of the best educational material we’ve seen tells a story. There’s something more fun about reading a story than just absorbing a bunch of dry facts. That’s the idea behind Adventures in Logic Land. In the first episode, you are abducted by aliens trying to decide if humans are intelligent. To prove that, you have to work a series of logic puzzles.
The approach is a little unorthodox. You are shown a live logic simulation (spoiler: it is a NOR gate) and you have to fill in a truth table. The gates use alien symbols which contributes to the storyline but perhaps isn’t the best choice from an educational perspective. Besides, they already use red for zero and green for one which seems a little culturally-specific. The next test shows you how to build your own little simulations and run tests to see if they meet the alien’s criteria.
This reminded us of nandgame in several key areas, although we liked the interface of that game better. Both seem to lack the idea of making a logic 1 and 0 constant without gates, though, which we found unnecessary.
We really wish at some point they would show proper logic gates and maybe have some discussion of what’s really happening or why you would want to do things like build AND gates. That doesn’t fit with the story narrative, but it seems to sacrifice some of the educational benefits. We didn’t realize it when we started, but the game is just a demo in which the player runs out of levels somewhere after the AND and OR gate. The author will apparently be seeking Kickstarter backing to complete it.
We have mixed feelings. It is a creative and fun way to learn logic, sure. But without a way to map it to common symbols and terminology, it seems like it would be difficult to use in, say, a classroom setting. In addition to this and nandgame, aspiring logic designers might want to check out from NAND to Tetris, which is a classic.