A group of American high school students has created an educational game with Taiwanese game developer BoniO.

The six American high school students — three are from the same school in California, one is from Ohio and two are from Taipei American School (TAS) — have been working at BoniO’s office in Taipei for the past month. The Taiwanese edtech startup has sponsored and mentored the project, Aquaforces, which aims to replace standard classroom review sessions with a team game.

“Typically students don’t have the motivation to study for tests and materials, but with our game, the competition will motivate students to review,” says Janis Fuh, one of the designers on the team. “We believe the classroom should be an engaging experience that drives the students’ urge to learn.”


Photo Credit: Shuhei Omi/The News Lens

The team's planning board.

Students can play the game through smartphones or laptops connected to the Internet.

The background of the game is set in a river. Teams, or “crews,” of two to four players race each other by answering question sets integrated from Quizlet or custom question sets. The more questions the players answer correctly, the faster their crew travels up the river.

The catch? Players need to tell their teammates the answers to their questions because the answers will not necessarily be on their screen, but on their teammates’ screens. This forces players to communicate with their crew.

“The game involves teamwork and competition, and allows students to solve challenges on a riveting adventure,” says Alex Huang, one of the developers.

The team says they are targeting elementary to high school classrooms in the U.S.

“Culture is an important factor in education. We wanted to combine the creative juices of people across borders and cultures to advance digital education. Aquaforces is the result of this incredible creative work,” says Ina Liao (廖欣怡), executive administrator of BoniO. “At the same time BoniO is trying to enter the American edtech market. We hope through this experience we can expand our market visibility abroad.”


Photo Credit: Shuhei Omi/The News Lens

The team at work.

Aquaforces launches this August on aquaforces.com. Find them on Facebook.

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole