Potato Pirates Coding Card Game – Fun Coding For All Ages!

Prime Minister Lee announced during National Day Rally 2017 that Singapore will be stepping up its game to become a Smart Nation. Programming will become a big thing for the nation and everyone need to get themselves familiar with the language of the future – coding. In fact, to give our little ones a head start, micro:bit will soon be introduced to help kids learn to code at school! Fret not if coding is not exactly your cup of tea at the moment. Potato Pirates – a cool new coding card game will have you learn loads of key coding concepts in just an hour while having lots of fun at the same time!

Hello, Potato Pirates!

The folks at Potato Pirates called it a swashbuckling game of carbs and strategy that can be enjoyed by players of all ages. The game creators proudly proclaimed that this epic game of programming, potatoes and piracy is able to impart the fundamentals of coding concepts in a fun and enjoyable way in just an hour, anytime, anywhere, offline and without a computer!

Sounds too good to be true? We thought so too. But the ambitious claim managed to lure us down to SUTD last weekend to give it a go with other coding wannabes from kids to some seniors last weekend.  

The game creators explained that taking the first step into coding can be a rather daunting experience – it is like wading out into a deep ocean of unknown. Being programmers themselves, they have personally experienced and dreaded the lonely learning journey of most coders. They explained that much of the coding work usually takes place in the wee hours of the night. With Potato Pirates, they hope to make coding more accessible for everyone and foster a different learning experience that encourages social interaction, peer to peer and parent to child learning.

Set Sail With The Potatoes! 

Potato Pirate is built for players aged 6 to infinite. Each game can accommodate between 4 to 6 players and the average duration per game can go anywhere between 15 – 30 minutes. A lot depends on the ahem … skills and intellect of the players. Everyone starts off on a fair playing field with the following deck. 

How To Win

To win the game, you should strive to be the player that secures the maximum number of elusive Potato King Cards. There is a total of 7 cards, each adorably represented by a common programming bug. For example, the first card below represents the infinite loop error. 

Do remember to salute the Potato King whenever someone draws the card. The last one to do so will pay with the lives of 2 potato crews. 

Of course, the other way to win is just to destroy all other players’ ships. Nasty!  

Turn Base Rules

Potato Pirates is a turn-based game so you have to wait for your turn before executing these 3 steps. Build your offensives during anchor or attack your rivals, you can make these decisions for each of your pirate ships during your turn. 

Attack With Action Cards!

Action cards are the offensives that you can build on your pirate ships to attack enemy potatoes. These cards can only be used once.

Well, at least that is the case unless you have the following cards in your arsenal:

Control cards – loops & conditionals cards that let you use your action cards multiple times! Coding concepts introduced here are for loops, while loops and if-else. 

Surprise cards  are sabotage cards like loot and some surprise cards introduce control structures and boolean logic. 

Bug cards are weird events that happen to you that you must reveal immediately. These cards are analogous to bugs in coding. 

How Effective Is The Game?

Coding language, functions and command concepts can be rather alien to most of us. The game creatively introduces common programming logic and how they function in the form of a fun card game. You can see from the statistics below that they have garnered pretty good post results. 

Through the game, many players also feel more confident and equipped to embark on an advanced coding course. It is a positive nudge towards learning a new skill!

Support Potatoes On  A Mission! 

These feisty potatoes are on a mission to bring this brand new and fun way to learn coding to the rest of the world.  The team have thought of many other exciting ways that they can advance coding concepts with Potato Pirates, in different forms and media. But first, they need your support and acknowledgement of the fact that everyone, most importantly, children, learn best through play. 

Potato Pirates will be launching their card game on Kickstarter end of August. They will be counting on you to support. Do share the game with everyone wishes to advance their knowledge in coding!

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