Total Darkness

A story-based adventure game helping Science Museum Group transform how they engage young people.

Science still has a bit of an image problem so the Science Museum Group, alongside UCL and King's College, developed the concept of 'science capital' to inform a change in approach.

Total Darkness is one of the first projects to be released as part of this strategic shift to make science more relevant to young people, with the game ultimately designed to give a generation confidence in their skills to tackle big challenges in a changing world. 

When the power cuts out, players have nothing but a torch, their quick wit and a cast of curious characters to find the real cause of Total Darkness.

Built in HTML5 and available for free online, the game rewards players for their curiosity, communication and creative problem solving, all skills to be found at the heart of science and innovation.

We've been impressed from start to finish. It was a particularly challenging brief and Thought Den responded with intelligence and managed the project with sensitivity. An absolute pleasure.

Josh Blair, Digital Product Manager, Science Museum Group

Over a six-month production period, more than 20 prototypes were produced and over 100 children were involved with playtesting to help refine the desired experience and learning outcomes.

Instead of a traditional approach focused on biology, physics or chemistry concepts, Total Darkness encourages players to reflect on skills they might take for granted that are found at the heart of science practice.

Total Darkness is a game about science that doesn't feel like a game about science.

? Play on any device at

? Download a press-pack of visual assets

? Read more on the 'science capital' R&D that informed the game

? Read about our approach to the brief

A smart-thinking, award-winning design studio creating playful experiences for arts and culture.

Founded in 2008

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Thought Den Ltd 6613339 | Registered address: 3 Brecknock Road, Bristol, BS4 2DE