Described by its creators as an “UN-match 3 puzzle game,” the newly launched Xenofil app intends to make child’s play of serious issues like racism and gender inequity.
The game, released earlier this month, was developed in Prague by a group of Czech students at Charles University collectively known as Wonderful Tree Studio.
They say their creation is a response to the growing manifestations of hatred in their country against minorities such as Roma and Muslims.
The game incorporates original hand drawings and a fairytale storyline. At its center, a non-gender-specific child, ME.
Despite its fairytale elements, the makers of Xenofil say their game is a challenge, both to one’s gaming skills and notions of tolerance and difference. Says developer Jindřich Pavlásek:
“What does it mean when a game tells you to kill thousands of people? To match only elements of the same color? What if it tells you to un-match them?”
While the game has drawn comparisons to Candy Crush or Diamond Dash, instead of asking players to match objects it forces them to “unmatch” the colorful icons, thereby accepting the idea that differing things belong together.
The application is available free of charge in Czech, English, and a Russian language version at Google Play and AppStore. It is appropriate for ages 12+.