For Immediate Release | 212.796.2380


Academically rigorous games tapped for educational purpose and originality

(NEW YORK, October 18, 2013) – This week The Independent Game Developers’ Association’s (TIGA) announced that two of Amplify’s digital education games, Crafty Cut and TyrAnt, were selected as finalists for the association’s 2013 Games Industry Awards. The awards, which are given out across 11 categories, recognize innovative games developed by independent designers across the world.

Crafty Cut was nominated for Most Original game, because of what TIGA describes as its fresh concept. The geometry puzzle game lets players explore the relationship between dimensions as they rotate and cut 3D figures to reveal designated shapes. The game progresses in difficulty as players master the underlying concepts, which include shape names, properties and angles.

TyrAnt was nominated for Best Game with a Purpose because of its engaging take on the life sciences curriculum. Players orchestrate, in a real-time strategy format, three leafcutter ant castes to progress a colony. Preloaded says TyrAnt teaches players how the insects “eat, communicate and, ultimately, reproduce within a biologically diverse and delicate ecosystem.”

Winners will be announced at TIGA’s 2013 Conference & Games Industry Awards on November 6th in Buckinghamshire, England.

“I’ve always said these games are like nothing you’ve ever seen. It’s great to see that the experts agree,” said Amplify CEO Joel Klein. “We’re not designing homework here. These games will improve learning not because kids have to play them in school, but because they want to play them in their own free time.”

“We’re thrilled TIGA has included TyrAnt and Crafty Cut in this year’s award shortlist,” said Phil Stuart, creative director for Preloaded. “Perhaps even more exciting, though, is that games with strong educational integrity are being recognized alongside some of the best pure entertainment titles of 2013.”

Crafty Cut and Tyrant are among the more than 30 cutting-edge English Language Arts and STEM games Amplify is developing for middle school-age students. The games, which are currently being piloted in schools across the country, will be playable on the Amplify Tablet and major mobile operating systems, including iOS. School districts may purchase the games—either bundled with Amplify’s digital curriculum or separately—in the spring of 2014 for classroom deployment at the start of the 2014-15 school year.

About our Partners

Although there are some great educational games for younger children, there are almost none that are innovative and engaging for middle school students. To help solve that problem, Amplify has commissioned work from some of the best commercial game designers in the world.
Justin Leites, vice president for games at Amplify, explains: “The designers who are working with us are a rare breed, extraordinarily talented in the craft of making great games and passionate about finding new ways to help kids learn.”
These design teams include:
Preloaded, the extraordinarily innovative British team that previously created Thingdom, which teaches basic concepts about genetics, and The End, which helps teenagers reflect upon religious and philosophical ideas about death.

Schell Games, led by award-winning game designer and Carnegie Mellon professor Jesse Schell. While working for Disney, Schell was lead designer for ToonTown, the first (and still popular) MMO (massively multiplayer online game) created for children.

Zachtronics, a Seattle-based team led by Zach Barth, creator of Infiniminer (the original game that Minecraft is based upon) and Spacechem.

Highline Games, the New York City team that built W.E.L.D.E.R., the spelling game that was widely acclaimed as one of the best iPad apps of 2011 (and a no. 1 hit in the Apple App Store). (Highline’s designers previously worked for Rockstar Games, where they worked on cinematography and other aspects of Grand Theft Auto and other hit games.)

Ira Fay Games. Fay was a senior game designer at Electronic Arts for half a decade, where he led Pogo iPhone game development and released several top Web games. Ira also previously worked at Activision on X-Men 3 and at Maxis on The Sims 2.

Strange Loop, the Seattle-based team of former AAA studio designers who went indie and created the liquid-physics puzzle game Vessel.

Bossa, the British team that produced the popular Surgeon Simulator.
About Amplify

Amplify is reimagining the way teachers teach and students learn in K-12 education. Our products are leading the way in data-driven instruction, breaking new ground in mobile learning and setting the standard for next-generation digital curriculum and assessment. And our professional services team, with years of classroom experience, helps schools implement digital solutions as well as develop strategies for using data to drive student achievement.

With headquarters in New York City and more than 1,200 employees across the country, Amplify is led by a team of digital education experts and has provided innovative technology to the K-12 market for more than a decade. It is built on the foundation of Wireless Generation, the pioneer that brought mobile assessments and instructional analytics to schools across America. To date, Amplify has supported more than 200,000 educators and 3 million students in all 50 states as they begin their digital transition. And we’re just getting started.

Amplify comprises three divisions: Amplify Insight, Amplify Access and Amplify Learning. Amplify Insight provides educational assessments and professional services that measure student learning and help drive personalized instruction in real time. Amplify Learning is creating new curriculum in English Language Arts, math and science that is built for the Common Core State Standards, and is developing interactive learning products designed for the digital native. Amplify Access offers schools a tablet-based platform that combines classroom orchestration and mobile device management with instructional tools and content.

For more information on our games and curriculum, visit


About the Author: