Zachtronics has made its games free for schools and similar non-profit academic institutions. Private and for-profit schools can expect discounts.
Here is the list of the programming puzzle games that Zachtronics is offering:
The purpose of these games is to introduce players to the principles of visual and parallel programming, writing assembly code, as well as level design and iterative problem solving. Zachtronics’ founder Zach Barth stresses that for all their educational value, it’s not ok to just leave students alone with these games. Educators will have to acquaint themselves with the titles before integrating them into lessons.
Free licenses can be installed on computers belonging to schools and labs. Private and for-profit schools are eligible for discounts in the range of 25% – 75% depending on the number of licenses they purchase. The offer does not apply to home-schools.
The studio also cautions that being useful to children does not mean that their games ARE for children. Occasionally, the titles on the list feature strong language and textual description (rather than depiction) of violence and sex. In the developers’ view, though, this kind of straightforwardness only increases the games’ educational value.