The Original Mobile Games Now on Nintendo Switch

The Strong News Release
NEWS RELEASE
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 585-263-2700 museumofplay.org

July 24, 2019

For Immediate Release

Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365, srhinewald@museumofplay.org

Noelle McElrath-Hart, 585-410-6325, nmcelrath@museumofplay.org

The Original Mobile Games
Now Available on Nintendo Switch
(
The Minigames Collection, a Co-production of The Strong,
RIT, and Second Ave, a First for The Switch)

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK—The Original Mobile Games, a minigame collection developed jointly by The Strong museum, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and Second Avenue Learning, is now available on Nintendo’s Switch platform. The first set of games, digital recreations of early handheld dexterity games and puzzles from The Strong’s unparalleled collections of play-related objects, launched in the summer of 2018 on the Apple Store and Google Play, and they recently won a silver medal in the International Serious Play Awards. This marks the first Nintendo game developed by RIT and Second Avenue Learning.

“We’ve been pleased with the reception to The Original Mobile Games since their launch. They have introduced a new generation of players to dexterity and puzzle games from the 1800s, which provide a direct lineage to many of today’s most popular smartphone games,” says Stephen Jacobs, professor at RIT and the project’s producer. “Nintendo Switch is the only hand-held console that allows games to be played like they can be on mobile and tablet devices, and as one of the best-selling gaming systems of all time, it makes The Original Mobile Games available to a wide new audience.”

The Original Mobile Games features, among others, Pigs in Clover (players navigate four balls through a maze), Queen Mary (players place three “bouys” and then pilot the ship into the dock), and the Niagara Puzzle (players must send a stream of balls into the whirlpool at the bottom of the Falls). These games were often themed around historic events. Queen Mary celebrates the 1934 launch of the popular ocean liner. The Niagara Puzzle even played a small part in changing history; it was used to smuggle maps, files, and compasses to British prisoners of war during World War II. Staff from The Strong and faculty and students from RIT spent months researching, playing, and photographing the original games in The Strong’s collection to capture this history and the games’ exact mechanics.

An early version of The Original Mobile Games was created by RIT students. Second Avenue Learning’s seasoned production team joined the project to finalize the app and expand on the collection of digital games, which now includes five additional expansion packs and 21 titles. They also led efforts to make the game available on the Nintendo Switch, which meant adapting it to be playable on a television, as well.

“At Second Avenue Learning, we’re in the business of creating educational games, and The Original Mobile Games have provided gamers across the globe the perfect blend of history and fun,” says CEO Victoria Van Voorhis. “We’ve been proud to lend our game design expertise to this project and to tackle the challenges of adapting these games to new platforms.”

The Original Mobile Games and its additional game packs are available in the Apple Store, Google Play, and now Nintendo Switch (available digitally through the Nintendo eShop for $1.99). For more information, please visit museumofplay.org.

About The Strong
The Strong is the only collections-based museum in the world devoted solely to the history and exploration of play. It is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play and houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play. 

About Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls about 19,000 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the U.S. The university is internationally recognized and ranked for academic leadership in business, computing, engineering, imaging science, liberal arts, sustainability, and fine and applied arts. RIT also offers unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. Global partnerships include campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo. For news, photos and videos, visit here

RIT’s game design and development program was ranked eighth at the undergraduate level and seventh at the graduate level according to the 2019 international rankings from The Princeton Review. In the fall of 2018 RIT opened MAGIC Spell Studios, a 52,000-square-foot building devoted to digital media research and production.  In 2016 RIT was designated as a New York State Digital Gaming Hub by Empire State Development and in 2019 received a New York State Center of Excellence in Digital Game Development. RIT was the first university in the country to launch a student-created game on Xbox One in 2016.

About Second Avenue Learning

Led by CEO Victoria Van Voorhis, Second Avenue Learning is an award-winning educational game studio that has been producing educational games and interactives for more than 10 years. Second Avenue’s products have more than 30 million play-throughs of science games and simulations in 17 countries.