Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from Graphite by Common Sense Media. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? Mars Gen One: Argubot Academy is a slick, clever role-playing game that follows new cadet Zodiac Flynn through the first days of this earthling’s life in a colony on Mars. Zodiac is the first native Earthling to join the Argubot Academy, a training facility otherwise populated by people born in the Mars colony of Bracket City. Zodiac’s task is to learn the art of using argubots, the special robots that can be armed with argument cores and then engage in special argument duels. Zodiac’s task is to use argubots to explore a series of missions that grapple with key issues facing the Martian colonists.

Price: Free

Grades: 6-8

Pros: Compelling visuals, feisty characters, and intriguing missions make for a rich learning experience.

Cons: Some features are still in development, and the app can have some battery life and stability issues.

Bottom line: A visually appealing, pedagogically sound exploration of what makes a valid argument.


About the Author:

Stephen Noonoo

Stephen Noonoo is a former editor of eSchool News. He has served as a consultant for CUE, California’s ISTE affiliate, and as managing editor of its quarterly publication, OnCUE. He has worked as a freelance writer, an education editor for SmartBrief newsletters, and as a staff editor for a well-known publication focusing on education technology.