Runner-Up Prize at MassDiGI Games Competition for the second year running!

Showcasing our most recent project “Zeebi Zoo”, we took home a Runner-Up prize for for Serious Prototype at MassDiGI’s 2014 Game Challenge.  This is the second year we’ve applied and won an award for the Boston Massachusetts based competition.

Zeebi Zoo!
Posted in Conferences, Zeebi Lab

Greg’s Memories of Educational Games

What is the difference between a game for kids and an educational game? When I was seven years old, the difference was pretty clear. Educational games just weren’t fun in the same way that other games were. Yet my parents really believed in edutainment as the term became, so I spent a great deal of time playing those.

One game I was given was Adi, a combination of a test-taking program with unlockable games. Most of these games were just memory or breakout clones, but the highest level games you could unlock were multi-hour Sierra adventure games such as EcoQuest or Pepper’s Adventures in Time. Once unlocked, I remember sinking tons of time into those, but the promise of more games was not enough of a motivator to keep my attention through the tedium of quiz levels. The fact that I cannot find any in-game screenshots speaks to its failure.


A game that I remember with mixed thoughts is Math Rescue. Created by Redwood Games, this game combined an Apogee style platforming adventure with math problems. The result was a moderately fun game regularly interrupted by boring arithmetic or word problems. Though the game provided some level of entertainment, it certainly wasn’t a favorite of mine.


On the other hand, the one standout series that I remember from my childhood was Putt Putt by Humongous Entertainment. It was a classic point-and-click adventure rich with varied characters and high quality artwork and featuring some excellent yet simple puzzles. It showcased all the strengths of good game design and managed to teach creative problem solving, the value of helping others, and the importance of hard work without needing to be a purely educational title. Though it never conveyed any specific domain knowledge, I feel that my love of puzzle solving started with those games.


Deductive reasoning, lateral thinking, pattern matching and experimentation are all essential skills for solving puzzles of all types. These same skills help one to succeed in scientific research, systems engineering and business forecasting. When creating an educational game, it is important to decide the desired outcome and audience. Perhaps with lots of parental involvement a child could be convinced to “play” their math problems instead of completing them on a worksheet, but I feel like this would not take full advantage of the power of games. Instead, if one were to create and interesting world with unique characters and puzzles whose solutions depended on understanding fundamental concepts, I believe that the child would not only solve the problems, but would continue to play in that world, investing time and energy into mastering it and improving vital skills in the process.

Whenever we are making decisions regarding our projects, I always try to remember that the goal is not to replace a traditional school education. The goal of educational games is to provide experiences that make learning and playing one and the same.

Posted in Education

We Won!

Back in March, we entered a game challenge, pitching our game Zeebi Lab to dozens of investors, game companies, and other business owners over the course of two days at the MIT NERD center. To our great delight, we won 2nd place!

Here’s the proud PBnGames team with our trophy.

We won 2nd place!

Posted in Zeebi Lab