In this digital age, the digital bug bites children at such a young age that children of even 2-4 prefer grabbing the Smartphones of their parents in order to play their favourite games online. The current generation is so hooked up on playing their games on their Smartphones, laptops and gaming consoles etc. that playing an offline games seems highly boring and uninteresting to them. Understanding this situation at hand and working towards bettering of it, is a Bangalore based startup called MadRat Games.
MadRat Games is one of those handful of offline gaming firms in India which builds and retails educational games. The firm is currently in the news for having launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to support the overseas expansion plans of Madzzle, its new series, which is a reinvention of the age old jigsaw puzzles.
The company is currently going great guns as they were successful in raising $1 million earlier this year from investors including Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, the two co-founders of Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart.
Bermuda Triangle, a zero-gap jigsaw puzzle, is among the five Madzzle games that is currently taking the country by storm. Jigsaw puzzles, which were once a hit among children are no longer preferred by them because of their lack of replay factor. Madzzle puzzles fixes this glitch as they lend themselves to further games once the jigsaw has been completed. Each Madzzle puzzle kit comes packed with accessories such as decoders, glow-in-the-dark objects and magnifying glasses.
MadRat Games has been founded by the couple, Rajat Dhariwal and Madhumita Halder. Both are alumni of the same institute, IIT, Mumbai. They both quit their high paying jobs after being intrigued by the purpose-of-life question and started teaching at the well-known Rishi Valley School, outside Bangalore. That’s when they decided to bring activity and play into teaching and started MadRat Games.
MadRat began its first official journey in 2010 with a help of 35,00,00 rupees from Dhariwal’s father and since then there has been no looking back. Their first game, Aksharit, which is the world’s first Hindi-language Scrabble was a big hit and was sold by the thousands to government schools and, later, as a mobile game, got bundled with mobile phones from device maker, Nokia. The startup was then funded by Blume Ventures and First Light Ventures and successfully retailed over 3 lakh games.
After much deliberation and thinking, they came upon jigsaws as a category because they thought there was a certain calmness and concentration built into them. All this led to the amazing Madzzle, the zero-gap, roll-up puzzle that converted into a board game with sunken ships underwater scenes and crashed plans that extended into treasure hunts.
MadRat Games is currently working on a project that involves incorporating technology – but without screens – by creating a wearable platform. The platform which is currently at prototype stage will be at the at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016.