NASA's latest exciting launch isn't into space, but the realm of Facebook games. Created by Scott Hanger, Todd Powell and Jamie Noguchi of NASA's Internet Services Group in the Office of Communications, Space Race Blast Off landed on the social network today as a quiz game testing players on the following categories: Aeronautics, Astronauts, Earth, Math, Solar System, Spacecraft, Station, Universe, and Pop Culture.
To start, you choose between 14 completed avatars, which you can't edit, but you can change anytime. While the human choices are surprisingly limited in diversity and variety, there are some fun options, like a UFO alien, an android, and a robot. For each round, the game picks two other random players to join you. If no one's around, you can play solo. Winners get to show off their knowledge by accumulating badge awards and ascending the leaderboard, which is divided into Monthly and Lifetime stats. Questions are all multiple-choice and you get three choices. There are 10 questions total, each valued at 100 points with the quickest response netting you an extra 20 points. Earning the most gets you to the bonus round, which is where you get to win your badges.
The purpose of the game is to educate folks on the history of NASA and general science relating to space exploration. But the Pop Culture category also throws a bone to sci-fi geeks with questions on assorted media. For example, one question asked, "What famous science fiction novelist directed and wrote 'Westworld' in 1973?" Another wanted to know the name of the race of underground dwellers in H.G. Wells' 1895 novel, The Time Machine.
Graphically, the game doesn't look like much, but it runs well and is loaded with educational material. Moreover, one of the most interesting things so far is the game's willingness to combine images and video in the process, such as a video narrating a question in the Bonus Round and being given photographs to identify -- all something we've yet to see even in the Facebook version of Jeopardy.
Click here to play Space Race Blast Off on Facebook now >
Do you feel like you're learning when you play Facebook quiz games (e.g. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire or Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader)? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment