Client: Sky Television

Operation: Find Buddy's dog! Integrated within the gaming section of the Sky Kids app, Buddy Code is our latest game which lets you become a high-tech coder and puzzle-solver.

Sky Kids gave us the brief of developing an interactive game based around teaching coding skills to children. Trying to create the right balance between learning and play was the biggest challenge of the project, especially when dealing with a subject that is already perceived to be quite challenging. We were determined to deliver an educational game appropriate for the younger demographic without it feeling like education. 

Here at Plug-in Media, we understand that kids often learn best through interactive play. In a similar way to how exercise activates the body, interactive media provides an opportunity to activate our brain. Through this touch-screen gaming experience, children can not only learn the basic concepts of computational logic, such as debugging and structuring algorithms, but also engage with these challenging concepts in a way that is both playful and visually stimulating.

Designing your own code sequence, the core aim of the game is to choose from different commands to assemble a route for Buddy to follow in order to reach his lost dog. Via a drag-and-drop interaction, each command is taken from a code library running horizontally across the bottom of the screen, and then placed into a sequence line. After pressing play on the sequence, Buddy follows the player's commands and is animated to move tile-by-tile around the grid-based maze.

Users can press play at any time to debug their code and reassemble commands through trial and error in order to avoid obstacle tiles. The player can also collect items from special pick-up tiles, bounce on the trampoline tiles and smash through rock tiles.

Each level transports the player through different fun-themed mazes: street, underwater, jungle and lost world. To test your problem-solving skills, there are 23 levels to the game which increase in difficulty and complexity. You can earn star rewards along the way - the more optimised routes you take, the more stars you win!

Since the game's launch, Sky have told us that the game has been hugely popular with the younger girl demographic. In light of recent women in coding movements that aim to empower women in STEM subjects, it is both rewarding and exciting to see such positive user feedback from our next generation of girls. 

The game was developed in HTML5 and we're delighted that Buddy Code can be accessed through the Sky Kids app on any touch-screen iOS or Android device.


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