ROAR is an Endemol (Remarkable) show shot on location in a UK wildlife park, it follows the lives and exploits of animals and keepers over a series of weeks. The game of the show takes a similar premise by providing kids with their own park to manage. To play the game you must set up a park, choose what kind of habitat you’d like for your enclosure (types include African Savanha, Indian Jungle etc), animals and their food and feeding schedule. The aim of the game is to successfully set up your park and keep your animals for several days, at which point they breed, the enclosures are cleared out (the animals are moved to another park) and you get the chance to try your hand at looking after a different kind of animal.
As a game for 6-12 year olds the gameplay is light with an emphasis on returning to the park daily to modify the settings chosen for each animal, things are spiced up with questions and conundrums posed to the park keepers upon their return.
The success of this game is largely due to the ‘cheat code’ mechanic that provides a direct call to action from the show to the game – every episode of ROAR contains a segment where a new cheat code for the game is revealed, players can enter these codes into the game to reveal new features: animals, treats enclosures etc. It has proved to be wildly popular and a testament to how powerful TV can still be at stimulating online activity. The game needs to run on BBC designed technology designed to handle as many as 150 thousand concurrent users – the peak they can expect following broadcast.
The new game update provides a general rebuild of the UI and is one of the first projects to be built on the BBC’s new FORGE platform. The game provides new content and some new features, whilst still allowing players of the existing game to continue playing their parks.
To play the game you’ll need to set up an under 12’s account with the BBC, you can find the game here: ROAR 2010 Edition