And they're giving it away for free!
Our ambition was to create a distinctive game that educates as well as entertains and we've have already received very positive feedback from children and parents. We are delighted that the game has been received incredibly positively so far - not just by the target audience but by the gaming world in general. The game has ratings of 9/10 in the platform stores and has been downloaded over 650,000 times in its first two weeks on release.
The target audience is young people aged 7-12 and as well as being fun, it will provide genuinely useful learning. Studies have shown that games outperform textbooks in helping students learn fact-based subjects while also improving visual coordination, cognitive speed, and manual dexterity.
A first-person player, the game is set on the idyllic Savvy islands with different environments to explore including a jungle, beach and desert. Players are armed with a 'trash blaster' and tasked with cleaning up the island and collecting litter.
Woven into the gameplay are a series of money learning points. These range from a simple 'work to earn' as characters earn coins by cleaning up litter to saving money in bank accounts.
As players progress through the game they'll also be introduced to the more advanced elements of good money management including paying tax to maintain the island setting, borrowing money, and even elements of foreign exchange, which are tracked through 24 money badges collected through the game.
There's even a literal Loan Shark that appears on the second level: it has been the subject of much interest from gamers so far!
The total game time for young people is estimated as 12-15 hours, though experienced gamers have completing it in 7-9 hours.
Natwest have created some simple resources to support conversations at home about the money concepts in the game, available from the website to read and download.
Young Money supported the development of the money missions in the game and developed the supporting activity sheets.
The core game is free to download and play on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam - and there are no in-game purchases (or loot boxes). #in addition to the core game there is a paid-for expansion packs which can be purchased for a small 'pocket-money' cost of £4.
A second expansion pack will be released later in the year. The add-ons are not neccessary and children can play the game completely free if they don't want to, or can't afford the expansion pack. The additional island 'Dinosaur Island' - was released with the core game; and 'Fantasy Island' will be released alongside the mobile versions on IOS and Android in late summer.
The bank does not profit from the game - proceeds from the expansion packs are to be donated to two charities, Young Money and Special Effect.
The game is also available in French, German,Spanish, Italian and Brazilian Portuguese.