Game: Cambrian Creature Creator

a picture of a trilobite with the title "Cambrian Creatures"
  • Grades 4 - 12
  • Ages 8-10, 11-14, 14+

Build a Cambrian Creature

Use fossils as a map to reassemble a trilobite and other Cambrian creatures in this drag-and-drop puzzle game.

The Facts Behind the Game

Palaeontological treasure troves like the Burgess Shale in British Columbia preserve the rarely fossilized soft body parts (e.g. guts, eyes, brains, gills, etc.) essential to understanding some of the world’s earliest animals. Trying to understand the flattened remains of ancient “squishy” animals is hard work though! While trilobites (extinct, armoured cousins of crustaceans and insects) are relatively well known, just exactly how soft-bodied animals like Hallucigenia and Nectocaris (featured in-game) are interpreted has been hotly debated for decades! By comparing many different specimens, preserving many different views, of these animals, palaeontologists build up a reconstruction of what these animals looked like when they were alive.

The ROM Connection

a trilobite on shaky fractured stone beneath the letters ROMThe future Dawn of Life permanent gallery at the ROM will tell the story of life on Earth - from the origins of life to the origins of dinosaurs. It will showcase not only samples from Earth’s early history when life first started, but key fossils throughout the Earth’s history that reveal how life diversified over time and faced major crises. This gallery is essentially the ‘missing link’ between the Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth’s Treasures and the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs on the second floor of the ROM.

What's a Game Jam?

At a ROM Game Jam, teams of developers spend a weekend at the ROM learning from collections and curators and use those ideas to build fun games inspired by the museum.  With only two days to research and create their games, the results can be weird, wacky, and downright wonderful!

Cambrian Creature Creator was created by Spongelab Interactive.

Game Info

(Please note this game is only playable on a computer and is not optimized for mobile devices.)

# of players: 1

Platform: Online

Controls: Mouse, touchscreen

To play:

  • Follow the "Go to the game" link and click "New game".
  • Drag the parts of the Cambrian Creature into the right place on the fossil.


 a user drags spines into place on a fossil a complete trilobite and an announcement saying "great work!"