Best Co-op Games to Play in 2021 - Tried & Tested

Codomo Singapore
Looking for the perfect cooperative game for you, your friends, and family? Look no further, we have just the list for you! Games tend to be associated with a healthy dose of competition, but we found that once in awhile, we crave a good cooperative game to shake things up.

So, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite cooperative games that we have been enjoying and you'll be sure to find the perfect one for any occasion. In our lists, we have included both online and tabletop games, so no matter near or far, we can all have our time of fun!

Online Co-op Games

It Takes Two

Source: Hazelight Studios

Ages Recommended: Ages 12 and above

Number of Players: 2 players

Available On: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series S/X

This is a two-player adventure and is perfect for parent-child or partner-partner game time, with forgiving game mechanics that can be picked up by beginner video gamers. It follows a “couple” that is going through a separation. A magical book then tries to ignite their love again and they are brought on a journey of (re)discovery - of their house and their relationship! The adventures are fun and innovative, reimagining the ordinary items around the house and augmenting them larger than life. The best part is, it is one of the good co-op games on Steam, so you don’t need a special console to enjoy this one!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Source: Nintendo 

Ages Recommended: Ages 3 and above

Number of Players: Online Multiplayer

Available On: Nintendo Switch

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a special one. With its Party Play feature, it is a lighthearted couch co-op, also known as a local co-op, meaning you play with your friends on the same TV or any other display system. Each island can hold up to 3 friends at a time and everyone can take turns visiting islands to check in on everyone’s island! The cooperative part comes into play when something unexpected happens. The impacts will fall on the leader of the group which can be swapped around. Simple, fun, and before you know it, you’re stuck on it for hours! If you like co-op games like Stardew Valley, then Animal Crossing is a must-try!


Source: Epic Games, People Can Fly

Ages Recommended: Ages 12 and above

Number of Players: 1 - 5 Players

Available On: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series S/X, IOS, Android

Fortnite is a Massive battle royale where you're in an epic battle against many others and your goal is to be the last person/team standing. Tag team with your friends and travel the vast map and loot many materials and weapons to build the best loadout. Like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Fortnite can also be played on the same console with a friend which is the perfect way to tag team or back each other up. Build structures on the fly to help gain a bird’s eye view or build a maze of walls to trap your opponents. Look forward to brand new characters and maps that match the current trends: Marvel, John Wick, God of War, Wonder Woman, etc. It is a game made for all ages and especially popular with the younger ones. Though it may be tough since there are many skilled players within the royale, we still found that, at least for us, it was lighthearted fun for hours!

Among Us

Source: InnerSloth LLC

Ages Recommended: Ages 10 and above

Number of Players: 4 - 15 Players

Available On: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Android, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, iOS, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S

This game should need no introduction since it is arguably the biggest game in 2020 and we think it still deserves a shout out even today! But to the uninitiated, Among Us is a semi-cooperative game where your primary aim is to do tasks and keep the ship flying. However, don’t get too caught up, because there are imposters who can sabotage your ship and your crew need to deduce the imposter(s) hiding - you guessed it - among us. It plays on how well you know each other and you’ll see if your team’s guesses save you! And if you don’t want others to turn on you, please try to be less ‘sus’.

Overcooked 2

Source: Team17, Ghost Town Games

Ages Recommended: Ages 3 and above

Number of Players: 2 - 4 Players

Available On: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X , IOS, Android

The thing about Overcooked is that though it is a cooperative game, word of caution, it may not be the best game for team-building. Everyone plays as chefs who are hopping between various restaurants to cook and serve up orders. The twist is that each restaurant is a little different - with moving floors, shifting furniture, and conveyor belts - not to mention, you can’t control your character well either. With all the chaos, there is a high chance you will have more than a few slip-ups before fulfilling any order. We wish you luck and, hopefully, you're all still friends by the end of the game.


Source: Studio MDHR

Ages Recommended: Ages 8 and Above

Number of Players: 1 - 2 Players

Available On: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, macOS

Cuphead isn’t made for the faint-hearted, with gruelling gameplay and unrelenting difficulty, and has been deemed as the “new dark souls”. It is a side-scrolling shooter game which is definitely one of the most popular co-op games for pc out there right now. It has the aesthetics of an old animation cartoon tv show and that's because the production crew consists of seasoned animators who were able to bring this 1930s aesthetic to life. So, tag team with a friend who is daring enough to try this out with you, allowing you to gain an edge during the boss battles, or if you want a challenge, you can try your hand at the solo mode too.

Don’t Starve Together

Source: Klei Entertainment

Ages Recommended: Ages 12 and above

Number of Players: 1 - 2 Players

Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, Linux, Microsoft Windows

If you're looking for good co-op games on Steam, Don't Starve Together is one of our go-to picks! The beauty of Don’t Starve Together (DST), is that the mechanics of the world and characters are not immediately apparent. Thus, this game allows you world-building to discover a new realm, exploring new animals, domains, and inventions, to create a system that will help you and your comrades survive. Characters each have their niches and you are sure to find one that will suit your playing style. It’s the perfect co-op, especially if you've been playing for a while and you have someone to impress with your DST knowledge.

Sea of Thieves

Source: Rare Studios

Ages Recommended: Ages 12 and Above

Number of Players: 1 - 4 Players / Online Multiplayer

Available On: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X/S

Time to set sail in Sea of Thieves. Bring up to 3 friends to join your crew and set sail into the horizon managing a ship; steer the ship, manage the sails, man the cannons and load the barrels. During your voyage, embark on various adventures with your friends to find treasures, weapons and secrets. But don’t be too complacent as on your sail, you will encounter other players and crews within the world. Friend or foe? Not sure, but you should decide or they’ll decide for you. Some find it a little hard to pick up but after getting used to the controls, we’re sure you’ll ‘sail’ by no problem with hours being clocked in this game without even realizing it.


Tabletop Co-op Games

Enter the Spudnet

​​​​Source: Codomo Pte Ltd

Ages Recommended: Ages 10 and Above

Number of Players: 2 - 6 Players

Available Here!

Enter the Spudnet is a stunning board game that marries fun with learning. It's a 2-6 player game where you are a Potato Pirate in the Spudnet - the in-game version of the internet. As you sail through the Carbobbean Seas, you encounter unforeseen challenges, such as firewalls and tsunamis that hamper your journey. This game uses immersive world building to sneak in concepts of cybersecurity and networking, allowing the game mechanics to illustrate how they work and raise awareness about the tactics of real-world hackers. The cards also introduce to you the ways to counter the attacks as well, so you’ll know what to do the next time you encounter cyber threats too! The co-op mode pits all the potatoes against enemy bots that quickly take over the map and the aim is for everyone to fulfil their orders. The game gets very hectic, so do not be disappointed if you can’t win on your first try. 

Eldritch Horror

Source: Fantasy Flight Games

Ages Recommended: Ages 14 and Above

Number of Players: 1 - 8 Players

Available Here!

Complete your chosen scenario by finishing the objectives on the codex

This series is a staple in any board game store and board game enthusiasts are sure to have at least one of the horror games in their arsenal. In this game, you are battling an Ancient One and the monster it unleashes from its gates. The team aims to solve mysteries and seal the Ancient One, stopping it from entering the human realm. As the successor of Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror pleasantly brings in more unpredictability and monsters into the mix, making it a must-own even if you already have the first former. It has a high level of replayability, with multiple characters and different Ancient Ones, just be sure to give yourself enough time to play it through!



Source: Z-Man Games

Ages Recommended: Ages 8 and Above

Number of Players: 2 - 4 Players

Available Here!

Playing Pandemic during a pandemic: kind of meta, we know. If you are new to cooperative games, this is a great place to start. As implied by its name, Pandemic is based on the concept of curing viruses that emerge, and as time goes on, things will get more and more out of hand. During a time like this, the game of pandemic is more relatable than ever as it helps us make sense of the current state of events. With the aim of the game centred around curing viruses, we found that it was therapeutic trying to fight fictional viruses in the comforts of our own homes.


Source: Libellud

Ages Recommended: Ages 10 and Above

Number of Players: 2 - 7 Players

Available Here!

Mysterium is a murder-mystery game except, your clues come in the form of dreams. This game requires deduction and a big table for board games. So it’s great when you are playing with people who you know a little too well or are trying to get to know better! The goal of the game is to find the identity of the victim, 28 years after their death, and the weapon used to murder them. So for those who grew up on Clue, this objective might ring a bell, but imagine it spookier and more supernatural. The components are over the top and magical, meaning if you’re in for some story-heavy game play, this is sure to blow your mind.

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective - The Thames Murders & Other Cases

Source: Space Cowboys

Ages Recommended: Ages 13 and Above

Number of Players: 1 - 8 Players

Available Here!

This game takes the murder-mystery genre to the next level by giving you a map to run around and find clues. A fair word of caution, there is a bit of reading but once everyone has their turn, you’re swooped into the heart of London city. Right out of the box, the game offers you 10 cases. But not to worry, each case will take you up to 3 hours so it will be a long ride. Better still, if you have a bunch of friends who are hooked on it too, you can go through all the adventures together as an investigative team!


Source: Timber and Bolt LLC

Ages Recommended: Ages 10 and Above

Number of Players: 3 - 6 Players

Available Here!

If you are looking for cooperative games for families, I think Spaceteam is a great choice! The card game is the perfect quick party game that is time-capped at 5 mins. Get 3-6 of your friends to help repair malfunctions and survive anomalies, to repair your ship back to the pink of health. For some, this might sound familiar and that is because Spaceteam began first as a phone game! The card game offers the same amount of chaos without any of the phone lag. If you want an extra challenge, the game offers timers for 3 or 7 minutes too, so you can tailor the difficulty to your ideal dose of mayhem.

*BONUS* Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game

Source: Magpie Games

Ages Recommended: Ages 7 and above

Number of Players: 3 - 5 Players 

Available Here!

This game isn’t out yet but it has been the talk of the town and we are just as excited for it. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game is the series’ official board game, making it canon in the Avatar world. You play as one of the heroes of the four nations and the goal of the game is to maintain a balance between the four nations. Those who were on the Kickstarter early have the pleasure of additional characters and even the white lotus piece! As fans ourselves, this is a must buy while you can.


So which one will you choose? Since these are some of our favourites, we can guarantee that no matter which you pick, it would be a pretty great choice. We hope we helped you find the next game to add to your list, one that is perfect just for you.

Read more →

Analog Board Games vs Digital Games: Which Programming Games for Kids are More Beneficial?

Codomo Singapore
If you time-travelled to the 90s and asked someone to show you their favourite game, they would likely bring out a board game. On the other hand, if you asked someone the same thing today, they would probably show you a video game instead. Perceptions have been rapidly shifting and now, “game” by default usually refers to digital games, be they on smartphones, consoles, computers or virtual reality sets. One thing is for sure: digital games have rocked the world and they are here to stay.
The children of today are thus being exposed to video games at increasingly earlier ages. It is not uncommon for adults to leave their children with digital devices to keep them occupied, which results in modern kids typically being more technological-savvy than the older generations. In fact, many classrooms and learning platforms have also taken to the cloud, where they can be accessed digitally anytime, anywhere. Digital tools for learning are available just a few clicks away, including interactive programming games for kids. However, one of the foremost concerns regarding digital games is the health of our young ones, whose technological tendencies may be coming at the cost of perfect eyesight and physical fitness. As such, this often raises the controversy of whether digital games do more good than harm. Should we encourage kids to play their favourite board games on their devices or bring out the cards on a game night?


Pros of Digital Games

Proponents of digital board games would argue that they are extremely convenient, free, and highly customisable. Digital versions of our much-loved board games are widely available these days, usually for free on any online app store. They can also be played online in any web browser with no downloads required. Digital board games allow you to try out different games without ever having to buy a physical game. Furthermore, digital board games are available on-demand since players can play with the computer as an opponent. We all know the frustration of wanting to play a board game but having nobody to play it with. Well, we no longer have to stick to single-player games when it comes to digital board games, since they can pit us against the computer or even other players from around the world. Many digital board games also allow you to choose the difficulty level if you play against the computer, which is especially helpful if you have yet to meet your match amongst real-life people.


Pros of Analog Games

Analog games were the original predecessors of digital board games, the box sets many of us grew up with. Remember the joys of handling physical cards and play money? Those who prefer analog games tend to feel that they are more authentic than digital games. Having to physically handle the game pieces can improve tactile dexterity for little children. Also, instead of having a computer track the game scores, kids can take on the role of banker or scorekeeper, improving their maths skills by manually tabulating everyone’s scores each round. Analog games are also typically played face-to-face, enhancing social interaction skills and fostering tighter bonds among a family rather than playing with one another through a screen instead. Additionally, analog games still take the cake in areas that require special tricks and negotiations that cannot always be translated into digital means. In some ways, it feels more “real” to play analog board games than digital ones.


What About Potato Pirates?

At first glance, it may seem a little ironic to be teaching kids about coding through a retro-style card game for kids. Isn’t it better to just show kids the real thing instead of presenting it in an old-fashioned card game? The answer was easy: we had to make a game to inspire kids and adults alike to learn. After all, nobody feels the dread of learning when they are having fun! We considered going with the meta and make digital coding games for kids, but the many benefits of analog games are why we chose to create our programming games for kids in analog form, and not digital games even though the topic is about learning computer science concepts.
We wanted to bring the human touch to the table with this game, given that most children already spend more than enough time facing an electronic device these days. Our coding games for kids have been designed to provide an authentic and holistic experience for all players, and we felt that turning it into digital form would dampen the spirit of a fun-filled family game. In the end, the consensus may vary when it comes to analog and digital board games. We think it is best to have a healthy mix of both, so our board games focus on delivering all the added benefits of being social and in-person considering that it has become the norm for kids to spend time alone on digital devices. We hope our card games will go hand-in-hand with digital experiences so that kids can enjoy the best of both worlds!
In addition, if you are up for a bigger challenge, there is also a sequel game that covers deeper programming concepts and has a greater strategic gameplay to fire up those brain muscles!

Read more →

How to design good player choice in games?

Potato Pirates

When we first started designing our new game, Potato Pirates: Enter the Spudnet, a question often popped out every now and then: Are board games like Snakes and Ladders considered a game? Half of our team feels that a game that involves zero decision-making might as well be a storybook, yet the other half argues that what makes an activity a game is the fun it can provide. Undeniably, both sides have their merits but we will leave the definition of a game as a topic for another day. In this post, I would like to talk about the side involving decision-making in games and our thought process when it came to designing what a player can do.

In games that involve decision-making, there are choices that are given (by us, the designers) and decisions to be made (by players) at every stage of the game. Be it to move a ship left or right, to choose a special power, or to negotiate a deal— such choices are given in multiple stages of our game. But what exactly makes that part of the game fun? What makes a choice interesting or boring? How would we design such choices? My answer is to look at the triviality (or rather non-triviality) of the decisions. The crux is that for the decision-making to be interesting, decisions should not be trivial.

Here are my top 5 considerations when it comes to designing player choice in your game:

1. The impact of the choices

Take this: for example, you need to enter a building via a door. You are given two choices:
  1. Push the door
  2. Pull the door

    Surprise surprise, the door is locked so pushing or pulling didn’t matter, you are still locked out of the building. 

    The golden question. To push or to pull. When all along…. it doesn’t matter.

    When it comes to designing your player choice, each decision your player makes needs to have some form of influence on the outcome of the game. It does not necessarily need to be immediate or in a physical form (like currency/powerup) but it should be apparent to the player in some form eventually. Otherwise, the player would feel that their decision didn’t matter and as a result, feel less invested and lose interest in the game.

    2. The opportunity cost incurred choosing that choice

    Choices matter to us only because we lose something choosing another. This is what we refer to as an opportunity cost. With opportunity costs attached to each choice, we can create dilemmas which engage the players by asking them to weigh the choices.

    One classic example that is often used in other games is the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Bear with me if you saw this before but I will give a brief description to those who have yet to see this. 

    In this scenario, we have two prisoners, A and B. Both of them are taken into separate rooms with no means of communication between them, for interrogation. If one testifies and betrays the other, the testifier gets off free while the other suffers a heavier penalty. If both stay silent, they both only serve 1 year. If both testify, they both get a heavy sentence of 2 years

    Prisoner's Dilemma: Taken from Business Insider, source from Wikipedia
    (Taken from Business Insider, who took it from Wikipedia)


    From our point of view, the best outcome would be for A and B to keep silent. Both prisoners will serve 1 year and only a total of 2 years will be lost. In reality, when personal gain outweighs the collective good, it’s not that simple. Say, A chooses to stay silent but deep in his mind, this doubt surfaces. What happens if B betrays me? Wouldn’t I have to spend an additional 2 years?! If A was rational, the more logical choice would be to betray because of the possible reward of getting off free or the less heavy punishment of only spending 2 years. But what if B was a loyal friend to A, and doing so will destroy their 10-year friendship? Would that change A’s decision?

    That same logic can be applied to our player choice. By creating multiple “what if” scenarios, you add weight to the player’s choice. Do I use this powerup now and risk not having it in the later stages? But if I don’t use it now, I can possibly lose the game now, etc.

    3. The amount of information given to make that choice and the weight-risk ratio

    In the previous point, we mentioned creating dilemmas but we forgot to mention one important detail. The prisoners’ dilemma will only happen if the prisoners were told about the years they would serve in each scenario. If the investigators simply demanded that they testify. Prisoner A probably wouldn’t testify since he does not know what he can potentially gain or lose. Without knowledge pertaining to the choices, those choices lose their consequences and impact. Another example would be if the player does not know what money does, spending it now or saving it for later doesn’t really matter, because to him, both choices are equally unclear.

    At the same time, having too much information is not necessarily good. Back to the prisoners, if A had perfect knowledge of what B is going to do (maybe with a mind-reading device), there would be a clear and obvious choice to take no matter what B does. If B chooses to betray, the best outcome rationally for A is to betray too. If B chooses not to, the choice that gives the most benefits for A is to betray B.

    Comic Strip displaying Opportunity Cost

    The golden question…. how to get rid of all those apples afterwards...  

    Although other choices are given, if one choice is always optimal, it causes the other choices to be arbitrary (just for show). Hence, to avoid that scenario, the choices you design should have relatively equal weight-risk ratios. A choice cannot be too risky and provide too little benefits or vice versa. The information you provide should be just right so that players can make an informed decision and at the same time, due to the lack of certain information, there is no clear choice at any point of time. 

    4. The amount and diversity of choices given

    Imagine that you are really hungry and there is only one restaurant nearby. There are only two dishes you can order. There isn’t much choice to make, is there? If you didn’t like the two the restaurant had to offer, it feels bad to fork out money for something you don’t really want but you are forced to have anyways (or you can starve, which is technically a valid option). Giving too little choice limits the fun a player can have.

    Now, imagine that you made the (sad) choice of the two and the next thing that comes is not the food but a question of which sauce would you like out of their 108 homemade sauces. It’s not just that. What awaits you is not the food but a 1000-question survey, of what side dish would you like, what drink would you want, etc. Eventually, you (or the player) gives up and takes the most convenient choice, which trivializes the whole decision-making process.

    The above scenario is an example of placing too much cognitive load on the player. Cognitive load refers to the amount of information that working memory can hold at one time. In John Sweller’s paper on cognitive load theory, it is said that generally, humans have a limited capacity of working memory of 5 to 9 items of information at any point of time. Overloading that working memory will only cause undesirable results. And the last thing you would want in your game is players being overloaded and giving up that decision-making because it is too tough to make that decision.  

    5. The rationality of players

    When it’s no longer about winning
    This may seem contradictory to the previous 4 points but. The previous 4 points are based on a huge assumption that players are rational. That players play to win. Often or not, there may be scenarios where players don’t play to win but rather for various other reasons. Some may go for the sandbox approach to just try out new stuff or some may just be targeting specific others for revenge (and ignoring their win conditions). It is difficult to consider for such interactions but it is good practice to take into consideration that there will be players who do not follow your mindset (if it were you playing the game) when it comes to making decisions.

    So what do we do now after all these points to consider? The next decision one should make is to use what to document your player choices. One of the most popular support tools out there would be a Decision Tree to help you visualize and map out those player choices/actions.


    A basic example of what a basic decision tree is. Super basic


    The above diagram shows a simplified overview of a basic RPG game, the player fights monsters, restocks in the shop and fights again. 

     Here’s a general guide on how to build a basic decision tree:

    1. Start off with the scenarios in your game and put them in boxes

    2. Colour the scenarios which require decision-making

    3. For those decision-making scenarios, create outgoing arrows for each decision your player can make

    4. Link those arrows to their resulting scenario boxes. 

    5. If the decision indirectly impacts another scenario, link its direct result to the scenario it indirectly impacts with a dotted line

      Like all things on the internet, there are many variations of decision trees out there and this is just one of the many. You can use this guide as it is but it is usually better if you adjust it accordingly to fit your game. The general idea of it all is for you to organize and visualize the entire structure of your game. It should display which outcome does each decision lead to or influence, which decisions are critical and which are repetitive (aka the game’s core gameplay loop and hence should be optimized). 

      In our upcoming game, Potato Pirates: Enter the Spudnet, we went through many iterations to improve the core gameplay loop. One of the initial ideas had the player choose between collecting money or cards every turn. Money and power cards help players advance their winning condition. So this is how it is like:

      • Either the player chooses to have fewer cards but more money to use their cards

      • Or the player chooses to have more money to use their cards but fewer cards to use

      Sounds like a good player choice? It wasn’t. Why? Here’s the breakdown:
      • The opportunity cost of each choice is somewhat clear and balanced. Choosing to get cards would mean having less money, vice versa
      • The amount and diversity of choice may be little but the cards (and their various effects) adds onto the “Choose cards or money” to become “Choose to activate this or that effect or money”
      • The impact, however, is not immediate. Taking cards doesn’t allow you to use them immediately. You need to have money. Taking money doesn’t allow you to do anything (since you don’t have cards)
      • The amount of information given is sufficient but the deal-breaker lies in this area. There is always a clear optimal path. Take cards, then take money to fuel those cards. Having either one is pointless but having cards first to use (and deny others from having those cards) is logically better than having money but be unable to plan how to utilize it.
      • We assumed that our playtesters will play logically. Most did but there were a few outliers who just kept taking money. God knows why.

      Out of the 5 considerations listed above, we only achieved 2 so this iteration was scrapped and we repeated this design process until it led us to the final product today. If you like potatoes and board games, come take a look at our new board-game, Potato Pirates: Enter the Spudnet!

      Read more →

      5 Reasons to be Potato King's BFF

      Codomo Singapore

      5 reasons to be potato kin's BFF - Potato King Cartoon

      Have you ever wondered what it'd be like to be best buddies with the King of Pirates?

      Well, Potato King VII here would like to be your friend, too - so, on his behalf to all potential new friendships out there, we've compiled together 5 Reasons to be Potato King's BFF.

      5 reasons to be potato kin's BFF - Potato King Cartoon


      He's like that super adorable friend everyone can't help but compliment - you know, the kind where everyone just goes "Oh man how are you so cute?" However, Potato King's cuteness is highly contagious, so that means you're cute by association - isn't that awesome?


      5 reasons to be potato kin's BFF - Potato King Cartoon

      He's gone to the furthest reaches of the seven seas, and has lots of stories to tell you about his travels...assuming he can actually remember them. However, he'll never forget to bring you souvenirs and trinkets from his travels!

      5 reasons to be potato kin's BFF - Potato King Cartoon

      Are you the kind who's constantly tripping over your own feet or falling up (or down) stairs? No worries! You'll have a partner in crime - err, we mean - solidarity! Potato King's clumsiness is legendary, and chances are, if you're his friend, you'll look like a graceful swan beside him. After all, it takes talent for a potato to stub their potatoes, considering they don't actually have any.

      5 reasons to be potato kin's BFF - Potato King Cartoon

      I'm sure you know someone in your life, who, despite their best intentions, inadvertently ends up bailing on you during an event or party. Potato King's not one of them! He'll go to every single event or party you invite him to and be the best companion you could hope for.

      That's of course, assuming he actually remembers your invitation but eh, details!

      5 reasons to be potato kin's BFF - Potato King Cartoon

      Need we say more? Potatoes are wholesome, comforting, and most of all, tuberawesome and that alone should be enough reason to be Potato King's friend!

      Potato King's always on the look-out for new friends and allies to help his on his tuberiffic quest, so if you'd like to be a bud-dy, please follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to keep in touch!


      Read more →

      Teach Programming With This Card Game

      Codomo Singapore
      The Genesis

      The only reason we came up with the idea of creating a table top card game that teaches programming concepts is solely due to our personal experience. In our freshman year in university, everyone had to take an introduction to computer science module. Most of the students had never done programming before, it is a completely new world to many of us. The struggle was real - countless hours of debugging only to realize a semicolon was missing, being absolutely clueless of what the lecturer was rambling about in the lecture hall, and of course dozing off in class to our teacher's monotonous lullaby of programming concepts. 

      It was extremely tough for me, it took a lot of determination and perseverance to finally get a good sense of what was going on. Thankfully, I had friends who have had programming experience and they helped me a great deal. They took time out to patiently explain the logic and concepts to me, debugged the code with me, and whenever I had problems, they're just a table away. I am truly grateful to them for helping me get through those merciless late nights.

      That experience made me realize how important it is to have somebody there with you when learning gets tough. It is that feeling of accomplishment and achievement together that creates the bond between friends. We asked ourselves if there is a way to exemplify the way my friends helped me, letting kids learn with their friends, instead of facing the computer all alone, puzzled and frustrated overspending more than 1 hour trying to make the code work.

      Of course, thanks to child-friendly drag-and-drop programming platforms such as Scratch, MIT AppInventor, Microbit, alongside many others, children can now learn programming logic without the hassle mentioned above. They learn the logic well enough to create apps, animations, and interactive hardware projects with the new skills they learnt. They are empowered to create something they call their own. Even though you can share and remix projects with other kids around the world, we felt that the social element, which plays a huge part in learning, is still lacking in these platforms. 

      We began to brainstorm ways to make learning fun, sociable, and impactful to the innovators of tomorrow. The obvious answer was definitely through a game. When it comes to playing, nobody ever feels like they are learning! Next, we have to decide what form does the game takes on? We knew we wanted a simpler, better, and more visual way to learn such an abstract field of study that is essentially made up of 0s and 1s.

      However, we did not want the game to become another mobile application where kids have to stare at their iPads to play. We wanted the human connection and emotions you get from playing a game. That is how we arrive at the decision of creating a tabletop card game that is highly interactive and thrilling and at the same time allows anyone above age 6 to grasp fundamental programming concepts, with #noscreensattached!


      Prototype and Testing

      Even though Potato Pirates is a card game designed with kids in mind, we wanted to ensure that it is attractive to people of all ages. From classrooms to family nights, our card game is an activity suitable for any setting. Children, parents, and grandparents can all have a To achieve that, other than being fun, it needs to be addictive and the educational aspect has to be substantial and progressive.


      For the past 18 months, we have worked through more than 20 iterations of the game to ensure that the concepts brought across are straightforward and directly applicable to any coding language or platform. We tested it with many different audiences every step of the way. Starting with our own computer science professors, to freshman students who were taking the introduction to computer science module, geeks, parents, grandparents, children attending coding camps, K-12 educators, and much more.

      Through multiple rounds of testing, we altered many components and aspects of the game. With over close to 20 iterations, we finally agreed on a version that was comprehensive in terms of concepts taught, but also wickedly fun. In order to evaluate the effectiveness and the impact of our game, we came up with 2 quizzes for participants to fill up before and after playing the game.

      Diagnostic Quiz

      The first quiz is the diagnostic quiz, it consists of various multiple-choice questions on the basics concepts of programming. The objective is to assess the participant's knowledge in programming prior to any exposure to the game. This allows us to compare the results with the formative quiz that will be done after the session.


      Formative Quiz

      After playing the game, participants will be given a quick 10-minute debrief on what they have learnt in the game and how it all relates to computer programming. They will understand the terminology and concepts covered in just 1 round of the game. For the formative quiz, other than fundamental concepts of programming, we also included application-style questions in the context of the game.

       Results and Statistics

      The quiz was completed by over 100 play-testers that we have engaged over the course of 4 months. The results were promising and encouraging. The game not only eased the learning curve of picking up computer programming, participants' interest, and confidence in learning programming also rose by approximately 80%.

       infographic on effectiveness of potato pirates game in raising interest and increasing confidence of players in coding and computer science

      All in all, we are ecstatic with the results so far and we believe that our product creates a genuine impact on kids' perception of learning. We can't wait for you to try Potato Pirates, rated as one of the best STEM gifts on Forbes, it is a perfect birthday or Christmas gift for young children, budding gaming families, or that awesome geeky friend of yours. 

      Interested in our game design and development process? Read more about how we design and create this card game.

      Read more →

      Potatoes, Pirates and... Programming?

      Potato Pirates

      You may have never used the words “potatoes”, “programming” and “piracy” in the same sentence, but that's about to change.

      Remember the times before iPhones and iPads? When we would gather with friends to play sports, enjoy games and or just chill out together? Potato Pirates is trying to bring back that social element for computer science. Doesn't matter if you're a kid, parent or an educator.

      Potato Pirates is a game that’s perfect for classrooms, family nights, and even game night with friends over a drink (or ten).

      Why Potato Pirates?

      There's an obvious increase in students' learning through digital devices. At the same time, we hear complaints from parents and teachers about the adverse effects of screen time and they are craving for offline platforms that are educational yet engaging for kids.

      potato pirates no screens attached

      Moreover, the challenge with teaching computer science is that many parents did not learn such things in school so when their kids ask them for help, they are quite clueless on how to even guide them. This causes a lack of continuity in a kid’s learning journey and makes it tough to sustain their enthusiasm in coding.

      play potato pirates to learn computer science

      Computer Science is tough! We know this. It’s been etched into the recesses of our minds. But why though?

      Learning to code is like learning a new language — except that this language is built upon cryptic symbols and mathematical jargon! Although there are certain overlaps, it’s not really the same.

      Nonetheless, in every language there are certain nuances which require a thorough level of familiarity to grasp. This is what we call syntax — the arrangement of words to make up well-constructed sentences. It’s no different in programming.

       Syntax is also one of the main reasons computational thinking concepts seem abstract and tough to grasp. That’s because most of your effort is spent debugging; trying to find the missing semicolon or parenthesis which is causing your program to crash.

      I once spent 6 hours fixing a program that had crashed because I had accidentally uncommented a line. True story.

      PYTHON: for i in range(11): print(“The number is %s” %(i))

      JAVA: for(int i=0; i<11; i++){ System.out.println(“The number is:”+ i); }

      PHP: for ($i = 0; $i <= 10; $i++) { echo "The number is: $i

      For non-programmers, these 3 for loops look terrifying. There’s good news though. The logic governing all these statements is universal. All 3 of these statements accomplish the same thing: counting up from 1 to 10.

      Wait…Instead of overwhelming people with these alien looking symbols, what if we could just present the underlying, fundamental concept of loops, without all the mumbo jumbo?


      Potato Pirates is a secret weapon to tackle these challenges.

      Through Potato Pirates, parents get to be involved in their child’s education and it provides them with an engaging medium where they can learn with their child. 

      It promotes social interaction among kids and adults while encouraging peer learning. No Wi-Fi, no computers, no electricity — but, you still can learn coding. Totally accessible to all!


      Potato Pirates removes all syntax and provides a visual reference to these overarching, fundamental concepts. It’s completely language-agnostic. This means anyone can move to any language of their choice after learning to play Potato Pirates.

      Potato Pirates is the universal first step into the world of computer science

      For anyone who has ever made the effort to learn something new, you’d know that the first step is always the most challenging.

      Programming is a very esoteric experience where one only interacts with a machine. And most of the time the machine doesn’t do what you want it to.

      Despite having great communities like freeCodeCamp and Stack Overflow, we still end up without having anyone to turn to, especially when we’re just starting out.

      With Potato Pirates, we’re trying to make this first step easier by removing computers and introducing social interaction; so that you don’t end up like this guy:

      10 hours of programming in 30 minutes? C'mon!

      It’s quite miraculous how much content we’ve managed to cover with Potato Pirates by staying clear of syntax. In a regular CS101 setting, there’s no way that you’d cover concepts like nested loops and running loops within a conditional (if-else) statement in your first 30 minutes of class.

      We’ve actually had to remove a lot of what we incorporated in previous prototypes of the game. We did not want to cram too many concepts at the expense of game mechanics.


      Computer Science concepts covered in Potato Pirates

      Does it actually work?

      This was the big question we asked ourselves while developing the game. We spent almost 18 months perfecting Potato Pirates.

      At each stage, the focus was always on:

      Testing, testing and more testing

      In fact, we wrote a separate Medium article to document our journey and highlight our development strategy. Schools and parents all around the world use Potato Pirates to introduce Computer Science with ease and success. In our Potato Pirates workshops, we put the participants through a short assessment, both before and after playing Potato Pirates to assess how much they had learned. This practice continues till today. 

      Here's what our data shows:

      Potato Pirates learning outcomes

      Two years on, we've now launched our second game, Potato Pirates: Enter The Spudnet to a very warm reception on Kickstarter. If you want the perfect gamified learning experience, I'd personally like to recommend the Potato Pirates Super Spud bundle!

      Read more →