Parents View

Quandary at home

Quandary is a free, award-winning game for ages 8 and up that aims to complement and extend the great work you’ve already done as a parent or grandparent, further strengthening your child's or grandchild’s moral compass.

The game aims to engage young people in ethical decision-making and develop skills that will help them recognize ethical issues and deal with challenging situations in their own lives.

How can Quandary benefit my kids or grandkids?

Quandary uses engaging storylines, gameplay, illustration and characters to challenge your child to solve difficult problems as she or he leads a new colony on the planet Braxos.

In Quandary, players must make difficult decisions in which there are no clear right or wrong answers but important consequences – to themselves, to others in the colony and to the planet Braxos. In their interactions with other settlers in the colony, players must consider facts, opinions and solutions, just like in real life.

Though the game’s setting is a futuristic colony, the genuinely tough situations that players encounter are translatable to the ones they are likely to face day-to-day. The skills players develop while playing Quandary – such as critical thinking, perspective-taking and decision-making – will help them recognize ethical issues and deal with challenging situations in their own lives.

Quandary provides a framework for how to approach ethical decision-making without telling players what to think.

What is the Character Creator tool?

The Character Creator tool is an exciting way to get even more involved in the ethical challenges facing the colonists on Planet Braxos.

Creating new characters is an exclusive feature available only on the Quandary tablet app. But anyone can view - and play - character creations on the Quandary website. Here’s how it works...

On the Quandary tablet app (for users aged 13 and up):

  • Choose from ten all-new ethical challenges.
  • Create a unique set of three characters, each with their own statement about the challenge. You’ll need to include a fact, solution and other opinion.
  • Track how other players have interacted with your characters.

On the Quandary website:

  • Play through any of the ten all-new ethical challenges by visiting the Create section.
  • Each challenge features a different set of characters created by the community each time you play.

How can I use Quandary to spark ethics discussions at home?

Quandary is a great springboard for discussion, and the learning will be greatly enhanced if your child has a chance to further reflect on and discuss her or his game decisions after playing. A dedicated players’ forum exists on the website for players aged over 13, and we also encourage you to discuss the game with your child.

We also encourage adults to play Quandary with their children. Why not ask your child to act as the expert, 'driving' the game and explaining how it works to you? You could even play the game as a whole family activity. All of these ideas help to facilitate discussion.

Here are some example questions to help with your discussions:

  • What was your role in the game? What did you have to do?
  • What is the difference between a fact, opinion and solution?
  • What options did you have for solving the colony’s problems?
  • What made you choose the solution you chose?
  • Did you find it hard to choose a solution? If so, why?
  • The game encouraged you to find other people's points of view, but did you listen to them when making your decision?
  • Why do you think it's important to understand other points of views?
  • Did you try another solution? If so, what and why? If not, what else might have worked?
  • How well did your colony do overall? What do you think the success of the colony depends on?
  • What was good about the outcome of your solution? What could have been better?
  • Can you come up with another answer to the dilemma?
  • What if there was another colony on Planet Braxos with a different Captain? How would this impact your decisions?
  • Have you ever faced a similar problem in your own life – a problem where there’s no clear answer and you didn’t know what to do? Is there anything that you learnt from the game that would help you make decisions when you face similar problems in your own life?

You could extend this even further by finding a topical ethical dilemma in the real world, perhaps something from the news, to discuss. Our discussion forum is a great place to find inspiration. And you might also like to check out The Family Dinner Project, a site that helps you start conversations about ethical thinking and other important issues around your dinner table.

What technology does Quandary need?

We've made it as easy as possible for you to play Quandary. Whichever way you choose to play, it's always FREE!

On the web...
Quandary will work on any web browser with the latest version of the Flash player plug-in, which you can download for free. You can play the game right here on this website, on BrainPOP's GameUp site, or via Edmodo.

On tablet devices...
Quandary is now available as a standalone app on Android tablet devices via Google Play and Apple iOS devices via the Apple App Store.

The tablet app and web versions of the game are the same, but the tablet app contains the exclusive Character Creator tool, where players can build their own colonists in response to a new set of challenges.

Share your Quandary experience

Why not visit our dedicated parents’ forum where you can get tips about Quandary from other parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles? Plus you can share your own ideas and experiences. Anyone can read the forums, and you just need to register in order to contribute yourself.