Gone are the days when computer games were made for children or young men looking to shoot a bad guy or race a car. Thanks to the growing capabilities of smartphones, and platforms such as Microsoft’s Kinect, the way we play games has changed, and their appeal broadened. In fact, in the UK alone, gamers are now increasingly likely to be women or individuals over the age of 44.
One group taking full advantage of this renewed enthusiasm is Imagine Cup finalist IzHard. Hailing from Russia, the team developed a 2D puzzle-platform called OVIVO, a unique game that uses a greyscale minimalistic monochromatic design to illustrate forces, like gravity, that impact gameplay.
This distinctive design was inspired, in part, by the team’s background in graphic design, and has led to the creation of fun, visually appealing, puzzles. To solve the puzzles, players must take design elements into account and, in many cases, change their perception of the game – even if it means viewing the game upside down!
What’s most interesting about IzHard is how far they’ve come in a short amount of time. When they attended a Microsoft Hackathon in 2014, the team had never met or developed games before. Inspired by what they saw at the event, 24 hours later they had thought up the concept for OVIVO and developed an initial demo version of the game.
Since them, IzHard have put a lack of experience – as well as limited opportunities for start-ups in their Russian home – behind them. Now, they’re looking forward to inspiring others to trust in their ideas at this month’s Imagine Cup finals in Seattle.
Meet the IzHard team here.