Widget Workshop: A Mad Scientist’s Laboratory was a hands-on science computer “game”, designed by Lauren Elliott, co-author of the Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego. Released in 1995 it is one of the more obscure Maxis products, which is a shame because as a learning tool, it was really cool.
Widget Workshop has some similarities to the game, The Incredible Machine, in that users can solve a variety of puzzles using a limited selection of parts or tinker with them in the game’s freeform mode. Unlike The Incredible Machine, Widget Workshop focuses more on the freeform mode and their are parts in the game that are neither mechanical or physical. Things like like display boxes, graphing windows and random number generators. If you are not familiar with Widget Worshop, here it is in action.