To provide a project-based learning experience during the COVID-19 outbreak, we mailed experimental kits to 285 undergraduate students and developed curriculum for a multi-player online robot simulation game. Students successfully achieved cognitive objectives and rated the remote learning experience comparably to the prior-year in-person implementation. However, there was a 10% decrease in self-reported motivation for the project and only 15% of students endorsed offering the course online in the future. Students most frequently felt that reduced quality of interaction was a key difficulty (43%) and seldom identified reduced hands-on experiences (7%) as a difficulty, a course aspect they identified as the most motivating. Preserving the known benefits of project-based learning for engineering retention will likely require improving remote collaboration strategies for hands-on activities.