CBBC Launches new app designed by viewer and created by Aardman
The BBC today unveiled its latest app for children, ‘Escargot Escape Artistes’, which was devised by a 12-year-old viewer following a competition on CBBC’s Appsolute Genius and created by Aardman’s team of digital experts. The making of the app and the winner’s story can be seen on Appsolute Genius, on CBBC today (Thursday, March 26th) at 5pm.
Available for free on iOS and Android devices, the app follows the adventures of ‘Le Dude’, an Escargot escaping the head chef of the Eiffel Tower restaurant who wants to serve him up to his VIP customers. The hero snail needs to escape and the only way is up the Eiffel Tower!
Escargot Escape Artistes is an auto-runner game consisting of 3 core levels (each representing a floor of the tower) with an unlockable endless mode coming soon. As the player makes their way up the Eiffel tower the obstacles become more challenging culminating in the third floor; a challenge for any avid gamer. The player must traverse each level from left to right, using speed, timing and skill to avoid pitfalls, burning lightbulbs and the hot-in-pursuit chef. The player is taken through complex technical sections, free-flowing fast sections where the snail rolls in his shell and helicopter-powered flying sections. Hacker the dog and Steve Backshall are also on hand to lend their support throughout the game with powerups.
The beautiful art direction has taken influence from vintage Paris with Art Nouveau references and is soaked in a colour palette that harks back to classic French animation and cinema.
The concept for the game was devised by 12-year-old Alex, from Hampshire, who also helped in the development of the visual design, game design and who tested the gameplay. Alex was announced last November as the winner of the CBBC Appsolute Genius competition. The judges said his game was humorous, exciting and showed a great imagination.
The competition was open to 6-12-year-olds and judging took place at Buckingham Palace by a panel chaired by The Duke of York, who is involved in a number of initiatives to support young people developing digital skills, including iDEA, TeenTech and Code Club.
The competition – which formed part of the BBC’s Make it Digital initiative to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology – ran alongside TV series, Appsolute Genius with Dick and Dom, in which CBBC stars Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood discover the geniuses whose ideas, creations and discoveries have shaped the world of coding, computer programming and gaming. The pair made a surprise visit to Alex’s home to give him the news that he had won the competition.
Alex, who wants to be a games designer when he is older, says he is still in a state of shock at his win and hasn’t stopped smiling since he found out. He said: “I think Le Dude is so cool and I am really proud that I helped to create him. The final game is epic and addictive – and makes my Mum scream when the Chef is catching up with my snail!! Aardman and CBBC have been so amazing and I have had the best time ever since winning this competition.”
Alex says it is hard to explain how he came up with the idea as things just ‘pop into his head’ when thinking of gaming. But he has always wanted to go to Paris and visit the Eiffel Tower (his parents had dinner in the restaurant of the Eiffel Tower on their honeymoon) and “my Grandpa likes eating snails in garlic butter!”
His win is particularly important to Alex and his family as they had a tough few years since Alex was diagnosed with dyslexia.
Controller of CBBC, Cheryl Taylor, said: “CBBC is really proud to be showcasing the winning game from our fabulous Appsolute Genius App competition. We’re passionate about encouraging digital creativity across our output and Alex’s amazing journey and his winning design will hopefully serve as real inspiration for our creative viewers.”