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Thomas & Friends™ Steam Team Station

Design Challenge: For the Thomas & Friends license, we were challenged to design a gameplay experience on the iPad that would go beyond the typical tabletop train play pattern, extending this popular brand into a new play space.

Solution: After immersing ourselves in the brand and understanding the tone and assets, we developed a suite of games that were Thomas-themed twists on classic preschool dynamics: hide and seek, relay races, and seek and find. The first two games got kids up and moving in imaginative play as they raced around the house to gather engine cards and register them with the iPad through a train-themed docking station. The third game provided a quiet, heads-down alternative. All three were chock-full of the sights and sounds of Thomas & Friends with images, video, and songs.

Favorite Moments: We loved watching preschoolers imagine their dining room as a series of snow-covered railroad tracks and stomp through the imaginary drifts to rescue a buried engine. One of the great aspects of the game was that it engaged all kids, not just Thomas fans, and inspired creativity and imaginative play.

Background: While working at and with Discovery Bay Games, Colt, Marisa, and Shanon led concepting and game design for the industry’s first iPad game accessories, which included Duo Plink, Duo Pop, Dora the Explorer: Let’s Play Backpack, and Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station.