Blockswap is a game where you have to complete a puzzle by placing blockshapes in slots. Players have to trade blocks in order to get the right blocks to fit in the slots, for both sides have to complete their shapes.
We were given the task to design a game for kids aged 5-8 that was supposed to teach them some basic math. However, the game had to be 90% and 10% learning. The game had to be for android devices
There's already a bunch of android games out there that teach kids basic math. However, most of them have gameplay and math separated. For example, you'd have to solve a simple sum like '47 + 23' to progress. Kids usually find this to be boring, because it's just doing addition and subtraction with a pretty coat.
Our goal was to create a game that would teach kids how to add and subtract without them noticing.
I was mostly responsible for the programming of the prototype, though, because there were only 3 of us, I was also very involved in the desinging of the gameplay. I designed all but the first three puzzles.
Usertests showed us that kids indeed didn't realize they were doing math. Though this game mostly tests your spacial aptitude, there is a little math in it when it comes to combining the different shapes in the placeholders. We also noticed that kids started referring to the blocks by numbers. For example, they called a block that consisted out of three smaller blocks a 'three' and a block that consisted out of four smaller blocks a 'four', and so on.
On top of that, almost every person we tested this game on thought it was a lot of fun. Though it's very simple, it's also very addictive because of it's challenging puzzles, and the interesting interaction between players.