A small Henderson team is only days away from crowdfunding their dream project: The Great Apes Survival Game.
Craig Swanson, the board game's co-creator and designer, is a father of two boys and a passionate advocate for wildlife.
"There was a hole in the market for educational games that teach values to children," he said.
Swanson teamed up with author Doreen Ingram to create an engaging experience that allows families to learn about the importance of wildlife conservation.
Staying true to the game's message, the designers promise that a portion of each copy sold will benefit wildlife sanctuaries that rescue, care for, and rehabilitate the endangered great apes. The project's commitment to wildlife preservation and education earned the endorsement of Dr. Jane Goodall, one of the world's foremost experts on chimpanzees.
Gameplay follows four teams as they race around the board to rescue gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and bonobos from capture. To win, players will have to outsmart poachers, circus owners, animal abusers and exotic pet owners, all while building sanctuaries to keep their great apes safe.
It's difficult to process the complexities and politics of wildlife preservation, especially for children. But after several playtests, the team is confident about the game's ability to teach through play.
"I loved seeing my child engaged in the game's unique concept," said Meagan Hodson, who tested The Great Apes Survival Game with her 7-year-old son. She also works as an editor and copywriter for the game.
On Sept. 13, the project was 85 percent funded through Kickstarter. But with only three days to go, designers were worried about the game's future due to the website's all-or-nothing approach to crowdfunding.
"$4,000 may not seem like very much, but it is a lot more than our daily average," the team wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
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