Reader Review: My Universe: School Teacher (Switch, PS4, PC)

There are many real life super heroes out there making this world a better place.  Some include firefighters, police officers, and teachers.  Teachers educate our kids and get them ready for the future, and do so much more that we don’t even realize.  I’m proud to say my brother Jeff is a teacher, so I thought it would be neat to have him review My Universe: School Teacher, a game about that occupation.  It’s available on Switch, PS4, and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

I was very interested in this game when my brother Cary showed it to me, as I am a high school English teacher myself!  It was going to be interesting to see how the intricacies of teaching would be represented in a game, but, seeing as the target audience is maybe a bit on the younger side, I wasn’t expecting much.  What I got from My Universe: School Teacher was a fairly simple game that gets to the basics of what teaching is about.

You start the game as a new teacher at an elementary school, where you have to finish the year as you learn how to teach lessons and help students.  The teacher customization is pretty good here, but I wasn’t expecting to get to name the school and choose a mascot!  I chose a mascot first, as there was a very cute baby duck available.  I wasn’t very creative with the name, but, because of the multitude of classes available for these elementary school students, I named it Baby Ducks U (well, Baby Ducks U Elementary School, that is). 

Getting into the gameplay reminded me of the pattern I use when teaching my own students.  You start with an instructional period where you demonstrate one of a multitude of pattern matching/rhythm/coloring games to your students, then you let the students work on their own.  This might be a good point to mention how both fancy and janky this school is.  Although you are a new teacher, you are expected to teach a variety of classes such as Reading, Geometry, Natural History, Coloring, Singing, Percussion, Electronics, and even Programming!  I was surprised to see such complex class listing, and even more surprised that my teacher is somehow certified to teach all these classes!  It isn’t very hard, though.  Reading is a simple button pattern you have to recite and singing is a rhythm game where you have to hit the buttons in time with the music.  Once the students are working on their own, it is up to you  to keep them going.  This includes answering questions (hitting the right buttons in order), waving your hand in front of daydreaming students, and snapping at ones who may have not gotten enough sleep last night.  I was actually struck by how rude it would actually be to wave your hand in front of a student’s face if you thought they were daydreaming (it was more funny than rude in the game)!

Outside of classes you meet some of the other school employees, like the principal who progresses you through the tutorial and the janitor who…tells you he isn’t going to do his job and you have to clean the room as one of your assignments.  Fun!  Although having to clean up your own room may be a bummer (and boy do these kids dirty a room every week!), it was one of the things that made this game seem realistic as I have to clean my own classroom in real life!  You can also talk to some of the students and other teachers, but I would have liked to learn more about the kids you are teaching.  That personal connection with your students is an important aspect of teaching that isn’t really represented here.

Overall, I had a good time with My Universe: School Teacher!  It shows the basics (very basic) of teaching to a younger audience who may be interested in this occupation.  There are even contests your students can enter later, and as you level up your school you unlock more teacher and classroom customizations.

Kid Factor:

Most of the puzzles in the game did not pose any difficulty, but the lack of instruction on some may lead to frustrated players.  Everything is very intuitive, so players who need more of a written tutorial may have trouble.  There was nothing inappropriate I could see, not even a dissection in the science course (although with the amount of complicated classes they’re taking, I think they could do it!).  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and the game may be considered somewhat educational.  My Universe: School Teacher is rated E for Everyone.  –Jeff Orth

One Response to “Reader Review: My Universe: School Teacher (Switch, PS4, PC)”

  1. Interesting. I was hoping it would let you create a lesson plan. It doesn’t seem that it does.

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