Acclaimed Bristol studio Aardman Animations is once again donning the mantel of British cultural and historical promoter by adding their special brand of toon genius to a new virtual world project with the Science Museum and Brunel’s ss Great Britain. Full Steam Ahead is an interactive game for students designed to teach them how ship designer Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s determination, resilience, problem-solving and ability to learn from his mistakes helped him succeed.
“When we set out on our mission to inspire so many Bristol school children with the work of Brunel and the ss Great Britain, we knew that we would have to venture into the virtual world,” says Rhian Tritton, Director of Conservation and Education. “Alongside the activities they’ll take part in here at the ship we thought the best way to keep that excitement going is to provide them with a platform that enables the pupils and their families to extend their experience, even when they’re at home. Full Steam Ahead certainly does that and we’re excited to share it with everyone.”
The game takes players through a series of ship-building challenges, based on those Brunel faced throughout his career. Successfully completing challenges earns the player more money and stars so they can buy extra parts (engines, propellers, sails, coal and paddles) in a quest to create the “ultimate ship,” able to cut through rough seas, carry more cargo, go the furthest distance and destroy opponents in tug-of-war battles.
Full Steam Ahead is part of a three year project called Museums and Schools, which aims to give 8,000 Bristol children the chance to experience Brunel’s ss Great Britain at school as well as during their summer vacation. It is part of a national initiative supported by Arts Council England. The game is now available to play via Brunel’s ss Great Britain website and will be available in the App Store and Google Play for free starting in August.