Spaceteam just came out a few days ago, but I only needed a few seconds to know this is something I had to checkout. Here is the gist of it: In spaceteam, you cooperate with a team of 2-4 on iPads, iPhones, or iPod touches to pilot a a space vehicle to prolong death. Well, you aren’t piloting so much as performing tasks that slow down you inevitable demise.
Each team member receives a random control panel with various labels, buttons, nobs, switches, and sliders. Across the top of the screen races your space ship, and just below that commands are issues that must be relayed to your team. Odds are these commands are meant for a team member so you must yell it to the group. The problem is they each have their own directive they also need to relay. The balance between listening and telling is difficult to begin with. Add the chaos an exploding star, the ship falling apart, asteroids, green goo, and more and you have Space team.
My first thought when I saw this game was of Mission Ocean. Purdue University’s educational program where students collaborate to drive a simulated submarine. I love Mission Ocean, but one thing it lacks is a sense of urgency and of the need to properly communicate. Therefore, some students will be overwhelmed by the requirement of M.O. relay orders back and forth to their team. I thought Space Team was the perfect training ground to improve communication and met with HAST’s 6th grade teacher to try it out in some of her classes.
Students had a blast! Ask them and all they say is that stuff was blowing up and next time they’ll make it to sector 6. Ask a teacher and we saw students who between levels were trying to coordinate their approach to communication. They were adapting strategies and trying to organize this increasingly more chaotic game.
Add this to this list of great games to try in a school setting. Make no mistake, it is loud! But if you need an excuse to improve communication or break the ice with shyer students, Spaceteam works great!