Story Cards

(Amplify)

The weird and wonderful characters of famous books are brought to life in a magical campaign showing students the joy of reading

The brief

Amplify is a US-focused educational publisher reimagining the way teachers teach and students learn. At the heart of this ambition is a groundbreaking digital curriculum for K-12, focusing on Maths, English Language and the Arts (ELA) and Science.

We’ve been working with Amplify to produce a series of games to be sold along with this core curriculum, designed for the Amplify Tablet and a variety of other platforms including iOS.

One of the most significant of these is an ELA game, called Story Cards – a CCG (Collectible Card Game) featuring famous characters and authors from literature.

Our response

Story Cards is designed to inspire students to read more books.

The game’s cards feature authors and characters from classic literature featured on the tablet’s ebook reader. As the students consume these books, and demonstrate understanding in them, new cards become available for use in the game.

The game is turn based, with each player placing cards into card slots in an attempt to outwit, out-manoeuvre and out-think the opposition. Cards are grouped into five themes – Journey, Love & Friendship, Mystery, Battle and Fall – deliberately chosen to transcend traditional genre categorisation, and engender a deeper curiosity in the cards themselves.

Each card has unique actions which reflect the character or exploits of the card. Each turn, theme tokens are accumulated, which can then be used to activate these actions. The more powerful the action, the greater the number of tokens required.

Actions range from simple attacks, such as Alice’s ‘Flamingo Mallet’ inspired by her attempt to use the Flamingo as a croquet mallet in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, to Long John Silver’s theme token stealing ‘Pirate Raid’ and The Artful Dodger’s ‘Pick Pocket’ action which steals health from the opposing player.

Advanced CCG concepts like status effects, card combinations and passive actions have been distilled to ensure they’re simple, engaging and fun to use while providing strategic depth and longevity.

In-game, players can leverage their knowledge of books via Chance Cards. These offer in-game rewards to those who can answer a quick multiple-choice question, giving them the edge and reinforcing the game’s strong theming.

The game includes a fully featured single-player campaign mode, where the player goes head-to-head with the most famous authors and their characters, and an asynchronous multiplayer mode allowing students to battle each other with customised decks built from their own collected cards.

As players compete, the game also writes a unique story based on how each duel played. By allowing players to craft their own narratives Story Cards aims to help inspire the next generation of novelists.

We have set out to create the most accessible and instantly fun CCG on the market, appealing to novice players while retaining the depth of strategy to satisfy the more advanced gamer.

Story Cards has been rolled out to a number of US schools as part of the Amplify pilot programme.

"Preloaded are a rare breed, extraordinarily talented in the craft of making great games and passionate about finding new ways to help people learn."


Justin Leites, VP Games, Amplify Learning

The Results

  • Awards

    Serious Play 2014 - Silver (Education)