When Virtual Reef Diver came in the mail, I was surprised by its size. This little card game comes in a box the size of a deck of cards. There is so much more than you would expect in that tiny box though! Here is the description of the game from Half Monster Games...
Experience the beauty and wonder of the Great Barrier Reef while learning about the dangers this national treasure currently faces, and the solutions data scientists are providing for its defence. Work as a team of citizen scientists on a quest to classify the corals, identify the organisms, and help protect the seventh wonder of the natural world.
The game features fast paced gameplay, beautiful reef imagery and educational content. Sales of this game directly contribute towards future print runs of this game as it is a not for profit.
Virtual Reef Diver is based on an Australian Government-funded citizen science website, where people can go to play a digital version and contribute useful data to scientists across Australia and across the world! You can check it out here - https://acems.org.au/games
The game play is fairly simple and light. There are some variations in play that you can choose from. The game will favor those that remember the species information from game to game. That really ups the educational value but could be an issue for new players playing with experienced players.
If we look at the educational value of the game, it is off the charts! As the game is played, players are learning about the various species of animal and coral in the Great Barrier Reef. You will also learn about some of the ways humans study and interact with the reef. My absolute favorite part about the game are the QR codes. You will find a QR code on each technology card. They link to a variety of sites with information relating to the card. Virtual Reef Diver is a rabbit hole of information to study. If we had a gameschooling game of the year, it would be this fantastic little card game.
To try out the game before you buy, check out this page on the Half Monster Games site.