Silver Bay Labs LLC
Based in Portland, OR
January 15, 2015
Exploration and learning
Contact: Get email/Send message
iPad App Store
iPad App Store Link (Free – iPad)
Caution, this is a new kind of game. It’s so intuitive that it inspires children to create their own games. You’ve been warned.
“It’s the first game where she’s told me ‘Dad, let’s make our own level!’ which made me swell with pride. We are using crayons working to make wireframes for her level idea!” – Gene Merrill
What is Ronnie Robot?
It’s an exploration game that puts a miniature robot on the iPad.
- It has also been called “An iPad game packed with ‘virtual’ toys.”
- It has been called an “ant farm where the ants are cute little robots.”
- It has been called “Robot sim city for kids.” (thanks Preapps!).
Why Ronnie Robot?
As parents, we wondered if there were a better kind of kid’s game. Now we loved the other iPad games; they’re adorable, but we wondered how we could better use the tremendous potential of the iPad? After all, children are naturally explorers, engineers and in the words of researchers, “intuitive scientists.” Couldn’t we create a game that would more fully tap into these amazing traits?
Then it hit us: the surface of the iPad could become a little world! An ant farm where the ants are robots and the robots can build, explore, drive vehicles and (sometimes) become sad. It would be almost like a watchmaker made robots the size of a child’s finger, made them thin, wound them up and let them go. What would these robots build? What colors would they use to paint houses? What would make them angry or surprised, and how would they put out fires?
Clearly we needed help, so we found the best experts around… our kids! It hasn’t always been easy. They shot down so very many of our concepts and designs. However, they’ve always been kind, and eventually they started contributing their own thoughts and ideas to Ronnie Robot! Everything in the game (from what kinds of clothes a robot would wear to how fast a robot would drive a school bus) has had endless loops of feedback and improvements thanks to our children. They would tell us their ideas, and then after working hard on Ronnie, we would bring the app home and they would critique our work. They are harsh critics, but sometimes (and this usually happened after days of hard work), they would give us that “you did it right” smile, and of course, it was all worth it.
From our families to yours, Ronnie Robot has been a pleasure to create.
Why Children and Parents Love Ronnie Robot
- Cooperative Play: Encourages children to share the iPad as they explore! Like no other game, Ronnie encourages children to share an iPad and teach each other by saying things like, “Jimmy, you can make the cow escape by doing this!”
- Deliberate, Calming Pace: You know those fast paced games that kids sometimes play? When they’re done with them, kids are seldom happy and excited to explore the real world. Ronnie is the opposite. Ronnie Robot is a slower kind of game that encourages social interaction ala, “Dad! Guess what I just found in the lake?!!”
- Packed with Content: There are over 80 achievements (things to discover) in the Village Scene (free) and another 80+ in the Farm scene (paid). Everything from house paints to robot modifications to a tow truck that can repair vehicles. “Mom, did you know Ronnie can plant flowers at the different buildings?”
- Replay-able: The robot world is a stage with actors and props. The “virtual” toys are always doing new and interesting things “Dad! The business suit Ronnie accidentally crashed the car! And then the painter Ronnie got scared and I helped the painter Ronnie run away. And then I fixed the car!.”
- Superb Multitouch Support for Truly Collaborative Play: allows children to share an iPad while playing Ronnie Robot.
- Efficient: supports all iPads including the iPad 1. Have an old iPad that won’t run the newest games? It will run Ronnie!
- Intuitive and Validating: Ronnie Robot is designed to be simple (we’ve seen a 1 year old play it — he wasn’t supposed to, but he grabbed the iPad and then had a blast creating buildings and moving vehicles around). Children finally have a whole (safe!) world to explore, and they shriek, laugh and enjoy each discovery.
Ronnie Robot is free, and it has no advertisements. Children typically play the free Village Scene (it has over 80 achievements!) for hours and hours. They are never nagged for a purchase. If additional scenes are desired, they can be found in the non-obtrusive menu where they are protected by an age-gate.
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For more information please visit: www.ronnierobot.com