Education app of the week: Sketch Nation Shooter for iPad

Everyone loves a good side-scrolling spaceship shoot-em-up, but with Sketch Nation Shooter, you can actually design and develop elements of the game yourself, with no need for code. It’s a great way to bring out the imagination and creativity of of pupils (and bigger children too…).

What is Sketch Nation Shooter?

Sketch Nation Shooter (Engineous Games Inc, 69p) is an app that lets pupils create their own 2D game on iPad. You start by sketching out a spaceship on an ordinary pad of paper, some enemies to destroy and other on-screen elements, then use the camera on iPad to take a photo of the designs to upload into the game.

The app itself provides a game engine that scrolls across the screen, and populates the level with the custom-made graphics and characters. Students can then control their custom-made game using multitouch gestures. The functionality is simple, and you can see how effective it is in the below video:

How can it benefit the classroom?

Sketch Nation Shooter lets students get creative to produce simple concepts, then see them through to the design stage. There’s no coding involved and handy tutorials to get you started, so pupils of all levels can get involved – all they need is pen and paper, an iPad and an active imagination! And then when they’re hooked, you can get them started on coding and programming apps.

What’s the best feature?

While Sketch Nation Shooter lets pupils easily create their own game from simple sketches or stock images, we like that there’s also an advanced mode that goes into more depth. This includes extras like level design and a few other options, so pupils can take the development stages further.

How much is it and where can I get it?

You can download Sketch Nation Shooter (Engineous Games Inc, 69p) from the App Store on your iPad, or by heading over to iTunes. It’s also available under Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme so, if you’re buying more than 20 instances of the app, you can get them for just 34p each.

– Missed last week’s app? Read our review of Tellagami for iPad here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

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