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Science Museum Group launches new online adventure game Total Darkness

No TV, no lights, no WiFi. When the power goes out, it’s time for action. Total Darkness is a new online game, and a race against the clock. Venture into the dark, solve the mystery and create your own adventure.

Today the Science Museum Group launched Total Darkness, a digital storytelling experience which invites the player to solve a mysterious power cut in their hometown. The game, which is free to play, puts the player in control, allowing their choices and decisions to guide them through the story.

Available now, this interactive adventure game encourages young people to recognise how skills they use every day can help them develop their confidence in science thinking.

Screenshot from Total Darkness game showing characters

As each player navigates through the darkened streets of the town, armed only with a torch, they will face various challenges, from lost pets to melting ice cream, that require their skills of curiosity, communication and creative problem solving. Along the way they will encounter a cast of curious characters and discover new theories about what might have caused the blackout.

But with every step, their torch fades. The player must solve the mystery before the battery runs out. There are 5 theories to find and disprove in order to solve the power outage and win the game.

The player’s choices and actions throughout the game will score them curiosity, creativity or communication points. When the game ends, the skills the player has used will be revealed along with their science style, showing how they could put their skills into action in the real world.

Aimed at children aged 7-13, Total Darkness has been shaped and informed by the Science Museum Group’s work and research in informal science learning and science capital.

Susan Raikes, Director of Learning at the Science Museum said: ‘We hope that by playing the game, more people will see that science is a subject that goes beyond the classroom – it’s part of our everyday lives and something everyone can do and be a part of.’

Ben Templeton, Creative Director of Thought Den, said: ‘Too many young people are turned off by old science stereotypes but playing games is second nature. The skills they use every day in gaming apply throughout science, we just need to highlight the connection. So we made a game about science that doesn’t feel like a game about science.’

Total Darkness is a free online game playable on smartphone, tablet and desktop. Play now at the Total Darkness website.


Notes to Editors

For further information and press requests, please contact the Science Museum Press Office: Amrita Pal, 020 7942 4096 or

About the Science Museum Group
We are the world’s leading group of science museums, welcoming over five million visitors each year to five sites: the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford; and Locomotion in Shildon. We share the stories of innovations and people that shaped our world and are transforming the future, constantly reinterpreting our astonishingly diverse collection spanning science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. Standout objects include the record-breaking locomotive Flying Scotsman, Richard Arkwright’s textile machinery, Alan Turing’s Pilot ACE computer and the earliest surviving recording of British television. Our mission is to inspire futures - igniting curiosity among people of all ages and backgrounds. Each year, our museums attract more than 600,000 visits by education groups, while our touring exhibition programme brings our creativity and scholarship to audiences across the globe. More information can be found at

About science capital at the Science Museum Group
Our Science Museum Group vision is for a society that celebrates science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and their impact on our lives now and in the future. Science capital is a measure of how engaged you are with science. It helps us understand why and how different people participate in experiences related to STEM – and why some do not. The research around science capital provides useful insights that can help us reach and connect with more people, and more diverse audiences.

About Thought Den
Thought Den is a small design studio from Bristol, founded in 2008. The award-winning team create playful physical and digital experiences that help diverse audiences engage more deeply with art, culture and science.

Past work includes Magic Tate Ball, which matches an artwork from the Tate’s archive to your unique surroundings, and Capture The Museum, a live-action, multi-player game for museum spaces. |

Part of the Science Museum Group