I’ll put this on the table before I shuffle the Creaturon cards. I am a gamer. I love RPG tabletop games, video console gaming and PC gaming.
I also have to face the fact that I have a terribly addictive and obsessive component to my love of gaming.
For instance, I have played the NHL video game franchise since its inception in 1992 (thanks Doug) and loyally played all 21 versions of it right up to the present. My friends make fun of me because I go so far as to tweak my rosters to reflect the current real-world transactions and line changes. I won’t even get started on how many D&D books are on my shelf (or how many d20’s I have).
I always have to show restraint and balance when I start checking out new games so they don’t take over my life, but I am always on the lookout for that next great obsession!
Needless to say, when I learned that a Niagara resident was a partner in a new card game and launching it from here I was more than intrigued — I was excited!
The game is called: CREATURON(as in, get your Creature On!)
Business partners Keira Newman and Meghan Obando starting putting this project together a year ago and developed it over hundreds of hours by long distance from Keira’s home in Fonthill and Meghan’s in Arizona.
Keira and Meghan are sisters. They also come from varied backgrounds that include school teaching, child development, corporate head-hunting, professional writing and biology. So how did their experiences prepare them to become game developers, while navigating the pitfalls of patents and licensing and creating a business to publish and distribute their own product?
Probably, the most important component that led to the creation of this game is that Meghan and Keira are devoted parents who saw this as an opportunity to incorporate education into their children’s playtime: they call it “Camouflage Learning.”
Creaturon is a card game that utilizes game mechanics similar to other popular games like Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering. The idea is that players engage in a competition using the creatures on their cards. Each creature has an assigned point value in addition to specific attributes assigned as numbers for attack and defense, these numbers are compared in determining the winner.
The big difference between Creaturon and other card games is that Meghan and Keira developed the “creatures” and their statistics based all on real-world counterparts.
For instance, in the case of the NEON SEA SLUG (Nembrotha kub, pictured above) the attacks are scored based on 2 real-world attacks (it can eat poison and senses prey) and its natural defenses (toxic slime and warning colours). The cards also include additional information regarding the animal’s habitat and how rarely it appears in nature.
Embrace Niagara was invited to Keira’s home in Fonthill for the official Creaturon Launch Party. Katie and I got to watch as the kids in attendance displayed a variety of gaming styles and showed us the mechanics of how to play their game and their own strategies.
The educational component of the game was on display as the kids of all age ranges were doing math in their head to calculate attacks and defenses, reading the detailed information of their favourite creature attacks and displaying an intimate knowledge of habitats and biology that they have picked up from playing countless hours of this “game.”
There are 3 levels of play to meet the skill levels of children at a variety of ages, but even the youngest children at the launch were engaged by the colours and artwork of the cards and played matching games with them.
Creaturon was officially released in April and has been play-tested over this past year in classrooms to great success. If the passion and knowledge of the kids on display was any indication, Creaturon is fun to play and is a huge hit with children of all ages!
You can learn more about the game, the rules and purchase online from the Creaturon website. If you live in Niagara and want to pick up some cards they are available from The Fonthill Candy and Toy Store at 1475 Pelham Street in Fonthill (905) 892-6828.
In the meantime I am going to challenge Katie to a game because I got the Great White Shark!