Truss Me! was designed for both education and recreation. There is a warning that it must not be used to design or compute real structures, which is funny, but I guess good, too! You wouldn’t want to trust the app to design a real-life structure and then have it fail. What you can do, though, is solve the puzzles to get a high score with as light a structure as possible. It has to be light, but also strong. You can pass with only one nut, or you can pass to get all three. With practice you’ll work up to earning the full three nuts.
Truss Me! utilizes state of-the-art simulation techniques used by aerospace, mechanical, and civil engineers to provide the most realistic behavior for your structures. If it’s well-designed, then your structures will resist as they would in real-life. If you have a flaw then the structure will collapse realistically too.
There are two modes of play in Truss Me! Freestyle allows you to build whatever you’d like, and Challenges requires you to complete the puzzles. You will be provided with a number of parts to use to build the structure, and you have to complete the picture to complete the level. It took me a while to catch on to what I was supposed to do, and honestly I didn’t fully get the hang of it. It has a great concept though, and I’d like to play with it more to see if it’ll be good for teaching structures to my kids.
If it does work out to be a good teaching supplement, then I can start to implement the freestyle creations mode. Putting together a structure with instructions is one thing, but creating a structure with your own ideas is another altogether. I love that there is this engineering option for kids to explore as well.
Create your own freestyle challenges to see if your designs will stand
Many levels and three grades to complete
Tricky to figure out at first
Truss Me! is an iPhone and iPad game that will help you explore structures in challenge or create your own in freestyle. I’m hoping that this game will be helpful in teaching engineering basics to my children, and that we can have fun both in the challenge mode, and in creating our own structures in freestyle mode. It’s like Lego for your device! Challenge is like having the instructions for the kit, and Freestyle is like creating your own masterpieces. Overall, it’s a great app, and I look forward to exploring it more.