Hakitzu Lets You Fight Robots with Other Robots and Learn Coding, Too

Educational game company Kuato Studios has unveiled its first coding game for kids called Hakitzu: Code of the Warrior. The game pits giant robots whose motions are controlled by increasingly sophisticated JavaScript commands against each other in a battle arena. In other words, it’s totally awesome.

Kuato’s CEO Frank Meehan told Venturebeat that the game will be the first of a series designed to make learning to code more fun for kids. For a first offering, the game has ambitious scope. “By the end of it, you will learn variables, functions, core construction of code, and syntax for JavaScript,” Meehan said. “That’s just the first pack.”

Last year Kuato showed a preview of a title that integrated artificial intelligence technology licensed from SRI International which would adapt the level of difficulty to the player’s programming skill. That game isn’t finished yet, but the positive response to Hakitzu bodes very well for future releases from the company. A pilot program in New Jersey was well received, and hopefully more programs will follow.

Kuato is building a game based on research they conducted at schools throughout the U.S. and United Kingdom, which found (in an early frontrunner for understatement of the year) that students wanted learning tools that were “graphically rich, interactive, and challenging.” This effectively encapsulates the value of educational games on the whole—students engage with the fun of the game, and learning is a happy coincidence. Given the great early response to Hakitzu, we’ll definitely keep an eye on Kuato’s next release.

Tristan Kruth

AE at TriplePoint PR and occasional contributor at Technapex. I'm particularly interested in video games and education, taking on arguments that don't make a lot of sense, and non-traditional ways of teaching people things.

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About Tristan Kruth

AE at TriplePoint PR and occasional contributor at Technapex. I'm particularly interested in video games and education, taking on arguments that don't make a lot of sense, and non-traditional ways of teaching people things.
  • http://twitter.com/frank_meehan Frank Meehan

    Hello Ian thanks for looking at Hakitzu. It’s our first product and actually was the 4th prototype we built before we finally cracked the combination of learning and gaming that worked for kids. Early days yet, we’ve got a lot more coming and we are learning a great deal from it all. We need to put in social, more coding tasks, more tutorials, and speed up the pace of the coding part – we are just burning the midnight oil to get it all done and release the updates. It’s an incredibly interesting area, so many people looking at it and I think we have a lead that we want to build on!

    Cheers

    Frank Meehan

    Founder & CEO, Kuato Studios

    • Tristan Kruth

      I’d be particularly interested to hear more about that updates process–is there any competition for attention between gameplay changes (for example new robots or arenas) and educational developments (like the coding tasks and tutorials that you’ve mentioned)? If so, how do those disputes get resolved?

  • Guest

    I’d be particularly interested to hear more about that updates process–is there any competition for attention between gameplay changes (for example new robots or arenas) and educational developments (like the coding tasks and tutorials that you’ve mentioned)? If so, how do those disputes get resolved