We Are Europe Community
The main characters of the game are four children at the age level of the target group, each holding different expertise. Each player has special attributes that will be called out during the game. These are the person of letters, the mathematician, the scientist, who answer to challenges related to literacy, mathematics, and sciences, respectively. The adventurer conducts the team movements. Thus the design encourages the game to be played by a team of 4 (or multiples of 4), all working together towards the same final goal.
At the beginning of the game, when an account is registered to access the game, the players have to elect the wise of their group using whatever method they agree on. This way, children are integrated into citizenship-related activities through their very first step in the game (definition of roles and responsibilities to achieve a common good). Apart from having the last word in every occasion, overrunning other players’ decisions in challenges and riddles, the wise also answers the quizzes, although with the help and collaboration of the other team members.
The players inadvertently go back in time and thus have to find a way to return to the present. During their journey, they are taken to designated and relevant periods in European history: a) The Dawn of Citizenship, b) The Middle Ages, c) The Age of Discoveries & Renaissance, d) The Industrial Revolution & Citizenship, e) The XX century, and f) My Europe. Each era represents a level. Levels make the players’ journey more engaging and fun overtime, enabling for them to be challenged every step of the way. In each historic period, the group has to travel through European countries and territories, solving challenges, riddles and quizzes that take them a step closer to their objective of returning home. To succeed, the children must work as a team taking advantage of different skills sets (selected at the beginning of the game) that will be required in specific situations in the game. The main game objective is to go through all historic periods, reaching the present time, using the minimum of turns.
The map of the game is updated in each time period/level to represent the designated era and depict the changes in the continent. The aim is for the children to, in each time period/level, acquire four pieces of a key that opens the time portal to proceed for the next era/level. To achieve this, the players have to travel between countries/territories. A movement between countries/territories is a turn. To find the next territory to visit, players get a clue (riddle). When arriving there they must solve a challenge of selected difficulty level (easy, medium, and hard), thus acquiring a piece of the key In case the players misinterpret the clues and end up in the wrong country/ territory, they are informed and have to re-examine the riddle. This costs turns but does not prevent them from pursuing the game’s objective.
Complementary to the main characters, an “old man” appears at the beginning (voice only), orientating the young group, acting as a narrator and providing help when requested. At the same time, opposing forces in the form of Time Agents attempt to prevent time travel by capturing the players, while moving between countries/territories. Upon being caught, the players have to prove they belong to the designated time period by answering to a quiz (multiple choice question). Failing to provide the correct answer, they are sent back to the previous country/territory and lose turns. If players answer correctly to a certain number of quizzes, riddles and challenges they also get badges along the game.
More details on the game description, the game controls and the technical issues can be found in the game manual, available also at the project’s website.