Game Review- Climway

In Climway you have 50 years to reach a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 4, cut energy consumption, develop renewable technologies and adjust the city to new climatic conditions. Your actions are rewarded points based on how effective they are at contributing to the objectives. Actions also have their own different levels of Action Points required to complete, some using many more Action Points. Some actions have immediate effects (like installing solar power on the school roof) and some have effects that run over a longer time period (like removing 5% of emissions from a power generator each year). Some actions have disadvantages as well as advantages (for example solar panels reduce emissions, but have a energy and resources cost in producing them new).

Produced by ADEME, Casse D’Epargne, Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Engie, Cap Sciences and Objectif Prod originally in French and translated into English. The French version of the game has links to over 300 documents (videos, interviews, graphs) that would be amazing educational materials. This extra information is not yet avaliable in the English version, but the links that they do provide in the game are already numerous. There are still some titles in French, but these are mainly not necessary, so it is not required to speak French in the English version of the game.

You will need Flash Player 8 and Adobe Reader to play the game.

Visuals: The cartoon style of the maps are really nicely done. After changes are made in the game, the features change in relation to what you have done. Fox example solar panels appear on a building after you have invested in them.

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Two scenes from Climway before (left) and after (right) implementing management changes.

Music: The soundtrack is a collection of notes that is quite relaxing, and the sound effects include waves, seagulls and birds singing.

Gameplay: The game is played by choosing between management options and clicking them to start their effect. A large amount of reading is required, so the game would be more appropriate for lower secondary school age children or above. Like the real thing, managing for emissions reductions and adaption is tricky in this game. I have played this game at least five times and did not succeed, so it is definately not easy, and the continued failure might put off younger children.

When I played I tried to start with choosing options that would have the biggest long term impact, rather than short term gains as I thought I could use the short term ones better in the end. I never managed to win the game, so maybe this was not the best way of going about it. I would be really interested in seeing what a professional in the field would make of trying to win the game.

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A summary graph used to show your progress. Generally very easy to understand.

 

Impact: The thing I love about Climway is that it has a great level of detail in all aspects of greenhouse gas production. Rather than just addressing carbon emissions, it also includes methane, flourides and other gases from a range of sectors. As well as reducing emissions, the game allows you to invest in adaption actions that assist you to live at changed conditions. These additions add the realism of us having to live with some climate change even if we radically change our way of living now.

As it was released in 2008 it may not include some newer technological advances, but this should not impede the game from getting across the general purpose behind the technology. Some technologies that they describe in the game (for example, carbon capture and storage) are still not viable in 2017.

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Cost: 5/5 (free)

Fun:2.5/5

Education: 5/5

Contribution to science: 0/5

You can play Climway here and find the game manual here.

All images courtesy of Climway

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