May 7, 2018
by Jonathan Tweet
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ATLAS GAMES RELEASES TWIN EVOLUTION CARD GAMES FOR CHILDREN, CLADES AND CLADES PREHISTORIC
The creative team behind Grandmother Fish—Jonathan Tweet and Karen Lewis—also created these games and funded them on Kickstarter.
SEATTLE (May 1) — Clades and Clades Prehistoric are now available to the general public from Atlas Games in St. Paul, Minnesota. Game designer Jonathan Tweet and children’s science illustrator Karen Lewis collaborated to create these games, which demonstrate the concept of a clade. In biology, a clade is a complete branch of the evolutionary tree, such as mammals. Players try to be the first to spot matches among the cards on the table, forming matches according to the animals’ clades and other qualities. Clades features living animals, such as a praying mantis, an eagle, and a human. Clades Prehistoric plays the same way but dinosaurs, sea scorpions, woolly mammoths, and other extinct animals.
John S. Mead, the Eugene McDermott Master Teacher in Science at St. Mark’s School of Texas, recommends Clades to other educators. “I have seen that it manages to help teach evolutionary concepts in a relaxed and organic way,” he said after using the game in his class of middle schoolers. Mead calls the game a “springboard for students to engage in rapid-fire critical thinking based on solid science.” Players do not need to have a knowledge of evolution to play, says Mead, making the game also “great at helping teach evolutionary ideas to beginners.”
Tweet and Lewis raised money on Kickstarter to produce Clades and Clades Prehistoric, and copies of the game have been sent to the backers. The backers also raised money to send over 100 copies of the games to nonprofits around the country, such as Camp Quest and the National Center for Science Education. Now that the obligations to the backers have been fulfilled, Atlas Games has released the games to the general public. The games will appear in game stores and bookstores, along with Atlas Games’s broadly popular titles such as Gloom and Once Upon a Time.
Clades and Clades Prehistoric are follow ups to Grandmother Fish, the first storybook to teach evolution to preschoolers. In 2015, game designer Jonathan Tweet and children’s science illustrator Karen Lewis self-published Grandmother Fish, which sold out and was then picked up by Macmillan for release in 2016. It has since been translated into Italian, and a Chinese translation is in progress.
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About Jonathan Tweet. Jonathan Tweet is an award-winning, Seattle-based game designer, having contributed to global brands such as DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, and POKEMON. His innovative game designs earned him a place in The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Hall of Fame, and he has placed a special emphasis on explaining complicated games in simple terms. Currently he is consulting with the Science Museum of Minnesota on an upcoming program for teaching evolution.
About Karen Lewis. Karen Lewis is a Seattle-based illustrator for children’s storybooks, history, and science. She strives to make her art accessible, accurate and visually delicious. Favorite clients have included the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, the Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Public Utilities, KCTS public television, King County and the National Science Foundation. She’s the resident cartoonist for Cobblestone, an American history magazine for kids. Her children’s book include Will it Blow – Become a Volcano Detective at Mount St. Helens, Amazing Alaska and Arturo and the Navidad Birds.
About Atlas Games. Atlas Games is a publisher of award-winning card games, board games, and roleplaying game books. Its best selling card games include Gloom and Once Upon a Time. Since its founding in 1990, Atlas has published games that have changed the way gamers think about gaming. (web: www.atlas-games.com, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)