PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--codeSpark, a new learning games company, today announced a free self-directed coding game called The Foos that teaches kids five and up the basics of computer science. It’s getting early notice from heavy hitters Code.org and LEGO, having been named a Code.org partner for its “Hour of Code” event December 8-14 when an expected 40 Million K-6 graders will hit computer labs worldwide to learn about coding for the first time. The Foos was also recently named a finalist in LEGO’s Re-imagine Learning Challenge competition which recognizes learning innovators around the globe. The game has been applauded for its gender inclusive and word-free approach.
The Hour of Code (HoC) version of The Foos introduces kids to a whimsical virtual world that is brought to life by programming cute characters. Online and game industry veterans Grant Hosford and Joe Shochet, will follow the HoC release with an expanded version in 2015 that includes areas for video game creation, interactive art and more.
“We’re excited and humbled by the early attention The Foos is receiving from prestigious organizations such as Code.org and LEGO,” said Grant Hosford, Co-Founder & CEO of codeSpark. “It’s strong validation that our vision and approach is hitting the mark. We’re providing kids with a colorful canvas for creative play and learning. We want kids to feel the joy of bringing their ideas to life and the pride of sharing their accomplishments with friends and family – all under the umbrella of teaching them about computer science.”
The Foos is a multi-platform game available on iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android (phones and tablets), Kindle Fire and the web that accommodates many learning styles. It has twenty-four levels of structured play and three open play areas for story-telling that are character driven. The structured play challenges introduce basic computer science concepts, while open play allows kids to exercise their creativity with newly learned skills.
The first release of the game includes a reward system and four amusing characters such as The Girl Ninja who throws bananas to knock down obstacles and the Boy Chef who can cook up literally anything, including hamburgers and barrels! Kids battle a force of chaos in The Foos known as The Glitch. The Glitch isn’t evil, but he causes a lot of trouble and must be contained!
The Foos is now available on the App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore and the Web. The Foos Hour of Code version is FREE for all and includes a free curriculum for teachers that can be downloaded from www.thefoos.com/hourofcode.
codeSpark is a Pasadena, CA based startup focused on learning games with a dash of silliness. Its mission is to ignite curiosity about computer science and turn programming into play. The company was founded with the belief that all kids are natural builders and programming is one of the most rewarding and powerful ways to build. The co-founders are Grant Hosford, a successful entrepreneur and online marketing expert, and Joe Shochet, a gaming and virtual reality expert who at Disney led design and development for several successful subscription games including Toontown Online. Joe was also part of the original University of Virginia team that created Alice 3D.