Zachtronics Is Offering Its Catalog of Games For Free To Public and Nonprofit Schools

Zachtronics Is Offering Its Catalog of Games For Free To Public and Nonprofit Schools

So kids can also experience frustration over an alchemical formula gone haywire.

Puzzle game developer Zachtronics has been making games about mechanical optimization and engineering for a while, and now they're open to students who might get a lot out of them. Zachtronics has opened up an application for public and nonprofit schools to get educational licenses for all of their games.

Those interested can head over to the Zachtronics website, but it's good to know the few caveats. As noted, you have to be a school entity, so this is not necessarily for current students (though they could lean on their teacher to check it out, I guess). These licenses are intended for school machines, and thus only for installation on computers that are school property, either in-school computers or school-owned laptops. Home, private, and for-profit schools are also not included; for the latter two, Zachtronics offers an educational discount, and for homeschoolers, Zachtronics recommends the commercial versions, as they provide a "better experience" for individual users versus the institutional versions.

These games include Opus Magnum, Infinifactory (which comes with a "For Schools" edition), Exapunks, Shenzhen I/O, and TIS-100. They range in difficulty, from fairly easy to grasp to fairly complicated, depending on the input. While games like TIS-100 are all about assembly language programming, the more recent Opus Magnum uses visuals and mechanical interactions to ease the onboarding process.

Zachtronics does warn that any potential teacher should probably familiarize themselves with the games before teaching them, both for in-game references to drugs or violence, as well as the inherent complexity of these games. That being said, this is a pretty awesome offer. I have fond memories of playing games like The Incredible Machine on computers at school, and I can't imagine what some engineering-minded kid might discover in games like Exapunks and Opus Magnum. Kudos to Zachtronics for offering this sort of chance to schools that could really make use of it.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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