Pit notable scientists against each other in this pixel art fighting game

Special moves include death rays, black holes, and gravity

Science in all its forms makes for an incredibly interesting field of study, but even when you’ve been deep in study for many years, capable of engaging in serious lengthy discussions that would make most people blanch in panic or unevenly blink back boredom, sometimes you have to be able to step back and ask: who would win in a fight between Charles Darwin and Nikola Tesla?

Well your deeply scientific pondering could soon have an answer with upcoming fighting game called Science Kombat that’s due to launch in April. Science Kombat is an educational game being developed by Superinteressante science and culture magazine from Brazil which aims to teach players about some of science’s most notable figures by turning their discoveries into special powers that can be used against each other in one on one combat. We don’t know about you, but we’d take that over a dry textbook; it’s not often you see educational resources that feature disturbing flashes of Charles Darwin’s (surprisingly hairless) chest as he unleashes his powers of natural selection.

Superinteressante magazine have recently commissioned some combat animations from illustrator Diego Sanches which give a good feel for how the game will look and showcase some of the excellent ways they’ve managed to turn scientific discoveries into devastating and deadly moves.

The game will have eight playable scientists each of whom has six basic attacks and two special attacks. According to Sanches “The idea of the game is to make a link between the “powers” of each character and his or her discoveries and inventions” through the special attacks. This means that beyond the standard roundhouse kicks and punches, Sanches was asked to animate Pythagoras dropping his theorem with right-angled kicks, Isaac Newton calling on gravity to take out his enemies with falling apples, Nikola Tesla pulling out the death ray, and Marie Curie throwing some Polonium powered punches.

Science Kombat is a clever and fun way to instill a basic historical knowledge of scientific discovery, but it does have its problems, mostly in its limited choices of notable figures. Of the game’s seven announced scientists, only one is a woman and they’re all white. A game like this which would appeal to a wide audience could be the perfect opportunity to educate more people on scientists whose contributions they wouldn’t otherwise hear about. Absolutely include the figures we all know, but add a few more to ensure that the work of female scientists and scientists of colour get the acknowledgment they deserve and create a game that can truly claim to have achieved its educational goals. Besides, who wouldn’t love to see Rosalind Franklin fire up her X-Ray powers or wrap her enemies in a giant double helix?

All Images: Superinteressante magazine