2009’s “Dark Skies: Messier” was neat, bringing back to mind classic astronomy software but adding a mild game element to it in the “hunt” mode. After learning about the stellar formations in the title, you get to hunt for them and identify them. It’s a neat way of adding a game element to a genre that’s normally merely educational in nature.
Whereas “Dark Skies: Messier” was inspired by “Messier objects”, there’s a companion app called “Dark Skies: Constellations” that focuses on (you guessed it) constellations. The included screensaver mode of Constellations also has entirely different content. A no-brainer for 240 Microsoft Points for adults with an interest in astronomy, or children who are looking for a fun way to learn about more.
Here’s what the developer (Oesis Inc) has to say about the game:
“Explore the night sky with more than 116,000 stars by learning the locations, shapes, and names of 88 constellations all from the comfort of your game console without ever putting down your controller! Dark Skies offers three modes (Explore, Hunt, and Screen Saver), Explore lets you toggle constellations on and off to learn the locations while Hunt will put your skills to the ultimate test.”