The Young Socratics’ innovative scientific adventure hits Steam Early Access
Strap yourselves in for some science, for The Young Socratics’ innovative scientific adventure Odyssey is out now on Steam Early Access!
Odyssey – which launches today for the specially discounted price of $14.99 – is part-adventure game, part-narrative exploration, and part-educational package. As an explorer in the Caribbean, you chance upon a distressed mayday call from thirteen-year-old Kai Rao – who, along with her family, has been attacked by unscrupulous sailors and are stranded on the Wretched Islands. The sailors believe Kai’s family knows the location of buried treasure on this tropical archipelago, so have sunk their boat to force them to find it.
In the game, which is designed to appeal to teens and adults alike, Kai has set up a series of science-themed obstacles to protect her family from their pursuers. But she’s also left clues in the form of pages from her journal, which charts her own intellectual journey through the history of astronomy and scientific reasoning. By piecing together and reading the journal, players can not only figure out solutions to the conundrums in front of them, but also learn about both Kai’s story and the story of science itself.
Odyssey co-creator Omkar Deshpande explained: “Reading those fragments is the key to learning not only the story of the family and why they’re in trouble, but more importantly the way Kai has spent several months of her time rediscovering some of the biggest ideas in the 2000-year-long story of astronomy and mechanics, from the ancient Greeks to Galileo. Understanding those ideas through her journal will help you make sense of the models you will find during your exploration, and how to crack the puzzles built around those models, which will allow you to successfully navigate around the islands.”
He added: “Educational games generally tend to feel quite overtly educational, and there is either no storytelling or it’s patched on top of the content in an incidental way. We have gone much further in developing the environment and story in the journal, and blending it with the history of science content in a very unique way.”
The Young Socratics – who recruited the help of Eric Lindstrom (creative director of Tomb Raider: Underworld) and Jason Miller (an artist and developer who has worked on titles for Disney, Nintendo, LucasArts and Activision) – ran a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign last year in which they raised more than 300% of their target. The team will initially ship the first of a planned two-part game series via Steam Early Access in order to gain valuable feedback from the community and improve upon their initial offering ahead of an official V1 launch.