I’m excited to announce that a venture I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of is now available at your friendly iPad App store. It is called Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game and is all about entomological fun and education!
The creator, Mike Parisi, contacted me over a year ago asking for some information on the Ohlone tiger beetle. Being a Santa Cruz local, Mike already knew the Ohlone tiger beetle is charismatic as well as very rare. We arranged to meet and as soon as I arrived he handed me an iPad and told me to play as long as I liked. I was instantly hooked! A game in which I get to help save, literally save, Ohlone tiger beetles from predaceous wolf spiders- all as a cute and powerful Roly Poly. Ingenious.
Over the next few months Mike contacted me about writing up a couple blurbs for some insects in his game. Of course, I got to write the Ohlone tiger beetle page with both basic information as well as on ‘the day in the life’ of an Ohlone tiger beetle. It was so fun (and also inspired me to write my narrative for First Person Singular)- Plus, it is now part of this great game!!!
In Isopod, not only do you get to play a fun and beautiful game, it is also a learning tool, for both adults and children alike. In addition to the colorful information pages for each level, on the game’s website, Mike provides a curriculum that includes “almost sixty pages of activities, quizzes, matching games, coloring and much more, all based on the material covered in the game” that encourages students (and non-students!) to not only learn about the insects, but also get outside and observe and collect them. Isopod (and Xylem and Phloem LLC, Mike’s one-man microstudio) also has a facebook page, twitter feed, YouTube page, and Pinterest– all with cool info, photos, and videos associated with the game.
This game takes you around the world in 12 levels as you explore dung beetles, bioluminescent millipedes, lady bugs, damselflies, lacewings, Bull dog ants, and so much more! Mike did a great job of staying true to insect biology and ecology, including many actual photos of the game’s creatures. He provides real-life settings for each level and all the creatures in a level are indeed found together in real-life. So, if you love insects and their arthropod friends, just want to learn more about them, or are looking for a fun, yet educational game- check out Isopod and share it with the little ones in your life. It won’t disappoint!