Kutoka Interactive (Swahili for “from“) is the brainchild of Canadian native Richard Vincent, who has developed the amazingly imaginative world of Mia the Mouse. Who is Mia? Mia is a little mouse who teaches children various educational subjects through adventure, music, and almost any fun way a child could think of.
Mia’s adventures and misadventures have helped children with their reading, science skills, and has even made math interesting. The basic concept of each of Mia’s games is to start out like a movie or digital story book, complete with plot, characters, and even an antagonist. Once the adventure is off to a pretty good start and a goal for the game is laid out, puzzles start to appear. Simple problem solving skills such as how to get around an obstacle come about, then the learning begins unexpectedly and unobtrusively. Games appear within the game in which the child has to finish in order to continue the story line. Such effective techniques were created with the help of educational consultant Margie Golick, a retired psychologist who has worked for years with children with learning and other disabilities. Many games have worked with this concept of “sneaking in learning”, but not until now has this technique been perfectly or so beautifully crafted.
The games are so attractive, that Vincent says even toddlers are even having fun. Learning sequences can be skipped through secret keys so that younger children can enjoy a game that was purchased for an older brother or sister. Not only does this game create enchanting quality time for parent and child, but provides the option for a household of children to save their own separate adventures.
The world in which Mia lives is colorful and vibrant. The 3D graphics literally pop out at the user as various random elements appear on the screen, such as the bad guys peeping their heads up from a bush, or ants snoozing on the road. The integration of believable looking bad guys without looking menacing adds to the inviting composition of Mia’s world. Also, getting around couldn’t be easier or more fun. She can either trot along a path by hovering your mouse, or she can speed off with her skateboard.
Several schools have now discovered the value of the Kutoka software line. Vincent spoke at E3 on how special school versions of the software are being received: “We don’t push it, but there’s been a big demand. There was a teacher who got a hold of me and wrote a class guide and put it on the net without our knowledge. And, so all of the sudden we started getting asked for lab packs. So, we have about 200 schools that have ‘Mia lab packs.’”
E3 marked the premier of Kutoka Interactive’s newest game, “Mia Click and Create “, a game similar to the popular “Disney’s Magic Artist”. Kutoka goes steps further however to help a child expand his or her creative potential with such features as adding music and placeable interactive characters. Any kid who spends time with action figures or Barbie dolls will truly enjoy their new digital action figures. Finger painting or other art projects are now no longer expensive or messy either as Kutoka simplifies clean up for mom and dad by keeping project supplies down to printer paper and ink.
Another great thing about the line of games Kutoka has put out, is that for all the graphical spender being produced on the screen, you don’t need a powerhouse computer to run it. Most computers in homes across the world can easily run the software, including Macs.
Mia presents a new take on the “learning game” that ANY person should take a look at. Whether you have children or are a teen, Kutoka’s products are artistic achievements that any person should have a look at.