Tech Will Save Us (TWSU), the company behind cool kids' STEM kits, has launched a new flagship product designed to get kids into game design. The Arcade Coder is a 12-inch by 12-inch board with 144 fully programmable and controllable multi-colored LED buttons, that teaches children aged six and over easy-to-learn block coding and how to design their own games.
It helps kids get to grips with game mechanics such as speed, levels and point systems, through pre-coded projects or by inventing brand new ones. Accessed via the free Games Studio iOS app there are step-by-step video and animation-based tutorials to complete, and new projects and challenges can be unlocked along the way. Complete them all, and you'll be crowned a Master Game Designer.
The Arcade Coder also comes with a Painter Mode, which lets kids "paint" pictures with the LED lights and then animate them with their newfound coding skills. According to TWSU, it's not designed solely for kids, though – the company wants to change the way families spend time together. As TWSU CEO and co-founder Bethany Koby says, "It is not just an individual gaming experience on a screen, but a multiplayer gameplay experience for friends and family." The kit launches on Kickstarter today, with super early bird pledges starting at $96, representing a 40 percent discount on the regular price of $160.