Zyrobotics’ Turtle Invaders is a simple, undersea action game for young children, available for both iOs and Android mobile devices. The developers’ goal is to help young children and children with special needs to improve their motor skills with an engaging game, and to allow children to access a colorful action game regardless of skill level.
In Turtle Invaders, players take on the role of an ink-squirting Octoremus, who’s defending their undersea home from invading turtles. Hitting a turtle with ink gives players points, but the game is very clear that the turtles aren’t hurt, just magically teleported back to their own turf. Which is exactly how all enemies should be vanquished in children’s games!
Turtle Invaders asks young children to look at the turtles’ path and the Octoremus’ path, and decide when to shoot ink. They’ll need to predict where the turtle targets will be, by the time the ink projective will be. It’s a fairly standard shooter mechanic, in a cute, undersea, non-violent setting. It’s optimized to play with little ones because players can adjust pretty much everything, so you can customize it just right for the child. Slow down the enemies to make it easier for young ones who might be struggling with hand-eye coordination, and keep young players from feeling frustrated. Or add faster and more interesting paths to challenge an older or more skilled player. Although I’m saying “older” and “younger”, because I’m most familiar with adapting games to different ages, developer Zyrobotics has designed Turtle Invaders to be accessible to children with special needs. (Including autism-spectrum children — there are several ways to reduce the amount of sensory stimulation in this game to keep players from getting overwhelmed.)
Zyrobotics’ other work includes apps and toys designed to be accessible and inclusive for different player capabilities, and Access4Kids, accessibility hardware to help users who have difficulties with motor skills use a tablet or other touchscreen.
This post is in conjunction with Zyrobotics. I’m really pleased to be writing about a company developing cute and accessible games for children with different ability levels. Getting a pitch on an experimental, edu game means my blog is pretty much where I want it to be.