After a long winter of heads-down development, The Counting Kingdom was entered into the MassDiGi Game Challenge. Jenna competed against fourty-five other teams to impress a judging panel of industry veterans, and The Counting Kingdom took home the Grand Prize! Attending journalist Dennis Scimeca had this to say about the game:
"Educational video games often don't feel like video games at all. They're just not fun enough... But the game "The Counting Kingdom," developed by the Boston-based studio Little Worlds Interactive to teach children basic math skills, smoothly avoids this hurdle on the way to becoming an ideal of what a "serious video game" (in the industry lingo) ought to be. Its extremely entertaining gameplay doesn't take a back seat to learning, and vice versa."
Spring & Early Summer 2014: Awards and festivals and early access, oh my!
Things kicked into overdrive as Jenna worked to get word out there about the game. We exhibited at PAX East and the Cambridge Science Festival, and won the Big Indie Pitch Jr. at the Game Developer's Conference. In June the game officially launched on Steam Early Access, which was an amazing opportunity to get feedback from early players!
Jenna also attended Casual Connect where The Counting Kingdom was nominated to be in the Indie Prize Showcase, and Jenna gave a talk about how to make great educational games.
August 2014: PC & Mac Release on Steam, PAX 10
I think it's fair to say that August was an incredibly exciting month. The game released for PC & Mac on Steam and the Humble Store to hugely positive reviews. Here are a few of my favorites:
"Little Worlds Interactive's The Counting Kingdom is a relatively rare breed of learning game: It's so successful at being a good game that your kids may not even realize they're learning while playing it. It's a game that is educational - not just an educational game." - The Examiner
" If you're looking for a math game for your elementary-aged kid, or it you just like number-puzzles, Counting Kingdom is the charming (yet educational) game for you.. I would much rather play The Counting Kingdom than any other game on my iPhone, and I'd still choose it over half the games in my Steam library." - Game Skinny
The end of August also brought with it PAX Prime! The Counting Kingdom was selected to be in the PAX 10 this year; 50 industry experts selected the ten best indie games in regard to gameplay and overall fun-factor. Being in the PAX 10 is an incredibly honor to being with, but to make it as an educational kids game was unprecedented. We gave ourselves a high-five and packed our bags for Seattle to exhibit the game!