[links for all programs at the end of this post]
There’s a really popular game for Android called Alchemy which Gillian’s eldest took quite a shine to on my phone. It’s a really simple game, involving dropping icons of the basic four elements onto each other to create newer items. These can then be used as blocks to make more complex ones and so on.
For example, mixing fire and water gives you alcohol, earth and air gives dust, dust and water gives mud… and so on. This version currently has 370 items to develop and discover. There is a “competing” program going by the name of Alchemy Classic which is the same but different. The programmers of this have also developed a PC version, but it’s a pain in the backside to install. There is also a new version from another developer called Alchemy ~ Genetics which does much the same thing with genetic traits of various creatures (wonderful gift to send to your Creationist friends – assuming Creationists have friends).
And, finally, there’s an excellent version for the PC (sorry Mac users). It’s programmed by Marius Bancila and the most recent version (2.0) can be downloaded from his blog (link below). It’s a small install and this new release has been re-jigged so that it works better on netbook screens. The old one kept expanding so that controls dropped off the bottom.
I’m giving this a plug partly as it’s such a good game and also because Marius has proven to be an excellent supporter of his own product. He happily listens to feedback both for bug fixes and new combinations of items. His Alchemy currently sports 444 different creations!
POINT TO NOTE – the game downloads as a single file within a ZIP archive. Just drag the file out of the archive and pop it somewhere to run it. For those who like things near and tidy, you can’t put the game into your Program Files folder where you’d normally store executables. For some reason it won’t then have permission to create and update the separate progress file so you’ll lose all your work each time to leave the game. Store it pretty much anywhere else! This may only be an issue under Windows 7/Vista, though.
A quick list of links for all four versions listed in this post: