Zombies have entered schools across the UK and mathematics is fast becoming the new rock n’ roll of the younger generation.
But fear not, despite sounding like the set up of an Orwellian dystopia, the world has not gone insane.
Instead, this is the work of one inventor who has found success delivering a new board game to children that sneakily helps them learn one of their core school subjects.
City of Zombies, created by Didcot designer and man behind the cordless kettle, Matthew Tidbury is enthralling school kids across Oxfordshire, challenging them to put their mental arithmetic to the test in the fast paced co-operative tower defence style game.
Aimed at children aged six plus, the aim of the game is to defeat waves of Zombies from breaching the game’s safe area.
Six years in the making and developed and launched with the help of the staff at Reading board game retailer, Eclectic Games, City of Zombies has now been met with “amazing” reaction.
In fact, the game has been so well received that the title was recently listed in The Independent’s Ten Best Educational Games of 2014.
“I have already got a number of schools who play the game in class, with more interested each week,” Tidbury told ToyNews.
“Seeing the way the game is helping these children not only improve their math skills (by stealth) but enjoy the process is really fantastic.”
The concept for the game was born when Tidbury – a self-confessed mathematics dodger – saw his own daughter begin to fall out with the subject at Primary School.
Consequently, Tidbury then spent a lot of tie back at school, where he put the game to the test with teachers and pupils alike.
“I spent a lot of time testing the game with children and teachers, to ensure kids liked it and that it met the teachers’ needs, for example being flexible enough to be used across a wide range of ages and abilities,” explained Tidbury.
And if the development process seems like a co-operative effort, the tale of its manufacturing is no less of a pool of board game-geared brains, having been helped on its way by the staff of Eclectic Games.
“I popped in to the shop to ask if they could recommend any companies that would manufacture my game,” said Tidbury. “The owner, Darrell and I got talking, who really like the game. In fact, his response was ‘When can we get this?’”
Darrell Ottery, owner of Eclectic Games is now keen to see the game on the shelves of specialist game shops.
“It appeals to people who like Zombies, peopke who like co-operative games, parent who want to get their kids off the video games,” he said.
“It’s not often that a light hearted family game as good as this one comes along. It suits all age groups, it’s great to play and it ticks all the boxes that many other games fail to manage.”