Arcade Coder teaches kids to build games for the whole family

Tech Will Save Us' latest STEM kit gets kids into game design.

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.