Posted in: Op-edGaming News
Published:
May 4, 2020 6:52 AM UTC

Major British Bank’s Slick Nintendo Switch Game is Impressively Preachy

NatWest is bringing back edutainment games with Island Survivor, a game about recycling plastic waste and saving animals. Except it's supposed to teach kids about money management.
  • NatWest bank is teaming up with a game developer to create an edutainment game about money management.
  • The game is called Island Saver and features collecting plastic waste and saving animals.
  • So far the gameplay seems to basically just be saving animals and the environment rather than money management.

Edutainment games are a fond memory for some people. From Humongous Entertainment adventures to The Oregon Trail. Since video games became a thing, people have been trying to teach kids stuff with them. Now Natwest is having a go in the modern era with Island Saver.

According to Nintendo Insider, NatWest has worked with Stormcloud Games to create a money management edutainment game. The strangest part is, that it doesn’t even look like an edutainment game at all.

So far the game seems more like it’s about environmental concerns rather than a money education. | Source: YouTube

NatWest’s Island Saver looks a bit like Slime Rancher

Island Saver is a game intended to teach kids good money management. Or at least that’s the claims of the NatWest themselves. But, from what little gameplay we’ve seen so far it just seems to be a similar idea to slime rancher.

In Island Saver, you have to clean up the environment and save animals by sucking up plastic waste. As you save animals you get to ride them and unlock new areas. You also collect coins. Which is presumably where the money management aspect comes from.

Surprisingly it seems like NatWest might have actually done a good job with this game. If I didn’t know it was being sold as an edutainment game I wouldn’t have guessed it from the visuals alone. If that’s representative of the actual game as well, then it might prove to be quite successful.

Edutainment Games Need To Be More ‘tainment, than Edu’

The key to good edutainment software is for it to be sneaky. You basically have to trick kids into learning without knowing it. That’s what was great about Humungous Games’ efforts. They just look and act mostly like adventure games.

NatWest’s Island Saver seems like it’s mostly going to be about saving animals and recycling plastic. You have to wonder if education about recycling is going to be more prevalent than education about money management.

If this game works out it might be great to see a mainstream edutainment revival. Games are more powerful than ever. They can really be useful in an education setting. If NatWest and Island Survivor can prove that, then more power to them.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

William Worrall @mizushinzui

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Contact him at: william.worrall@ccn.com

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