Robot Turtles: The Board Game for Little Programmers

A project in Seattle, WA by Dan Shapiro

Funding Successful

Robot Turtles is a board game you play with your favorite 3-8 year old. It sneakily teaches programming fundamentals.
Backers: 13765
Average Pledge Per Backer: $46

Funded: $631,230 of $25,000
Dates: Sep 3rd -> Sep 27th (25 days)
Project By: Dan Shapiro
kidsboard gamerobotsprogramming +Suggest

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Last Updated: September 27 @ 20:30 -0400 GMT


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Latest News

Seattle’s surprising Kickstarter bounce

May 24th - via:
SEATTLE, WA - Seattle punches way above its weight when it comes to Kickstarter campaigns, and that's been a big boost to that city's startup community. (Read More)

Robot Turtles: From Kickstarter to Target

August 13th - via:
A year ago when I talked to Dan Shapiro about his Kickstarter project, nobody knew how big it would get. Shapiro developed Robot Turtles while on leave from Google as a way to play with his kids and sneak in a bit of programming education. People in the board game industry told him it wasn’t really a marketable idea, so he turned to Kickstarter—a great place for niche products, right? (Read More)

High-Tech Push Has Board Games Rolling Again

May 5th - via:
New tools now power the creation of tabletop games — many in the strategy or fantasy genres — from idea to delivery. Crowdfunding sites provide the seed money and offer an early gauge of demand. Machines like 3-D printers can rapidly create figurines, dice and other prototype game pieces. And Amazon, the online retail giant, can handle shipping and distribution, cutting out the need for middlemen. (Read More)

Seattle Roundup: Kickstarter, Kineta, Ride-Share Regs, Lively

March 14th - via:
SEATTLE, WA - In addition to funding news this week for Seattle-area outfits Seattle BioMed,, Tipbit, Illumagear, and ComputeNext, we got word of a Kickstarter milestone, more funding for drug developer Kineta, and a potentially big week for Lively. Next week, we’re expecting a final decision on new city regulations on the likes of Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft. (Read More)

Why you shouldn't back this game

September 27th - via:
Today is the final day of the campaign, and what an amazing journey it's been.  25 days ago I was deeply worried I wouldn't be able to find great homes for 1,000 copies of the game.  To put that worry in perspective, 1,000 copies of the game have... (Read More)

The last and final stretch goal

September 26th - via:
(I'm not going to call it the "home stretch" because that would be a pun too terrible for words). Well, we did it.  It may have seemed a little crazy when I told you that I had this magical goal at half a million dollars to make pieces conceived of... (Read More)

You may not have noticed, but we hit an amazing milestone

September 24th - via:
That's right: this morning, this very morning, was the first day that you woke up without a new backer update. Isn't that incredible?  Dan got to bed before 4am and skipped an update! Unheard of! Shocking!... no? Ok, how about this:  We just became... (Read More)

10,000 strong

September 22nd - via:
We decided to divide and conquer for part of the afternoon: my son stayed home with Mom reading books, while my daughter and I went out for "coffee" at our neighborhood cafe.  A friendly barrista let us come behind the counter and showed us how to... (Read More)


September 22nd - via:
Welcome new backers! It has been an amazing Kickstarter campaign, and it's coming to a close in just 5 days.  In this update, I thought I'd take a minute to talk about a few things that people seem to not know about. Robot Turtles goes out of print... (Read More)

Unlocked the $400,000 stretch goal. Unveiled the $500,000.

September 21st - via:
I've spent every waking moment the past few weeks amazed by the wonderful support that this little summer project has received.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. If you're new to the project, don't miss out on the amazing free stuff that's already... (Read More)

Well that was a heck of a day

September 20th - via:
The amazing support for this campaign just has not stopped!  Today Robot Turtles raised a whopping $60,000, more than any day since the campaign started, and rocketing us closer to our $400,000 stretch goal (extra tiles in the base game) and our... (Read More)

New stretch goal!

September 19th - via:
A bug in the gameNow you've gone and done it.  We've reached $300,000 (wait, pinch me: $300k?!?!) and found a bug. This bug, to be precise: There's just one bug card (actually four - a different bug for each turtle).  Kids point to it whenever they... (Read More)

First picture from the ebook

September 18th - via:
Free stuff for Thank-You TurtlersAs you know, I've added a beautifully illustrated pick-your-own-path ebook to the Thank-You Turtle level and above (and the text-only version to every backer).  This wasn't even a stretch goal - it's just an extra... (Read More)

Introducing Robot Turtles: Laser Edition!

September 16th - via:
Look at the time! I mean literally, look at the time.  Last night I sent out an update with broken links and the wrong Jordan at 4am (fixed now).  I'm going to try not to do that again. With just 10 days left, I'm excited to share something really... (Read More)

New Pledge Level!

September 16th - via:
Inside: New pledge level Here's a cool number Stuff you get for free already SNEAK PEEKS I have something really fun to add.  As you know, there's a couple of crazy dream-day reward tiers.  Awesome people keep bidding on them (one of the... (Read More)

Stretch goal unlocked, now look out for bugs!

September 14th - via:
What a fun update to write... New stretch goal New rewards at all levels Robot Turtles community is open There go the limited rewards More playtesting Translations Project spotlight: Poppy3D New stretch goalWe did it.  I asked you to help let the... (Read More)

Robot Turtle Kickstarter Campaign

September 14th - via:
The Robot Turtle crowdfunding campaign has raised 831% above and beyond its original goal. The children's board game promises to lay the foundation for future programmers in a fun, interactive way. (Read More)

Prints by award-winning illustrator Matthew Cordell

September 13th - via:
I am incredibly excited to share a new reward with you: limited edition giclee prints by award-winning children's book illustrator, Matthew Cordell, signed by the artist! Matt's famous for illustrating books like Righty and Lefty, hello! hello!, and... (Read More)

Two weeks until Robot Turtles goes out of print

September 13th - via:
Just a short update this evening to thank you so much for your help yesterday. I asked you to let your local media know about Robot Turtles, and you came through in spades.  One story aired already, and a few more are in the works - Robot Turtles... (Read More)

$250,000 stretch goal: Puddles!

September 11th - via:
I have been working like mad with my manufacturer to see what we can do to squeeze some extra awesome out of the game for stretch goals, and I've finally dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's about what we can do without wrecking the schedule... (Read More)

Turtle Parents Speak Out

September 11th - via:
Two Robot Turtles parents posted articles today about their experience playtesting the games with their kid.  Wondering what that adorable 3-year-old girl in the video was up to with her mom?  What was that jumping-and-cheering about with the... (Read More)

$200,000 stretch goal announced!

September 10th - via:
Don't worry - stretch goal is below.  Go ahead, scroll down, read it.  I understand.  I'll be waiting up here when you're done. RulesLast week I asked for help editing the rules (backers-only link).  You came through in spades - 10 or so pages... (Read More)

Here are the rules!

September 9th - via:
This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read. (Read More)

Robot Turtles is officially fun for grownups

September 9th - via:
As you may remember from our previous update, I've been working on a set of rules to make Robot Turtles great to play for grownups and older kids, called Galapagos Rules. Tonight we played Galapagos Edition again with some friends.  And it was crazy... (Read More)

Robot Turtles: Galapagos Rules

September 8th - via:
Robot Turtles for GrownupsYour fantastic support has unlocked the "grownup" rule set of Robot Turtles! Hereafter called "Robot Turtles: Galapagos" (thanks to Brad O'Farrell for the idea), it makes Robot Turtles fun for ages 8+.  I've been working... (Read More)

Norah link - 3rd try is a charm

September 7th - via:
Sigh.  Kickstarter put the terminal period in the link, which broke it. Last time:  (Read More)

Updated Norah link

September 7th - via:
Quick update: the link you just got in the email is broken (although it's fixed on the website); it should be  (Read More)

Meet Norah, a little programmer

September 7th - via:
First things first: we hit the $150,000 stretch goal!  That means that, in addition to the standard rules, you're going to get an alternate set of "grownup rules" that makes the game just as fun for groups of adults (and older kids).  I'm starting... (Read More)

I'm back!

September 5th - via:
I had a wonderful day today offline with my family and the project has been busy while I was gone!  Your continuing support has been awesome, and we're just $5k away from unlocking a really cool stretch goal: a set of rules for grownups to play,... (Read More)

My daughter says it better than I could

September 5th - via:
"Daddy, how many people got Robot Turtles?"    "Two thousand, five hundred, thirty two."    "OK, can you hold up fingers to remind me when I say it so I don't forget?"    "Sure honey."    The rest of the video is unscripted.    Offline... (Read More)

Robot Turtles coloring sheets delivery!

September 4th - via:
This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read. (Read More)

This face says it all

September 4th - via:
Today, during dinner, the twins and I counted to 100 together.  Then I asked my kids if they wanted to do it again, and they said no.  Then I asked if they wanted to do it ten times more, and they said really no.  Then I told them that if we did,... (Read More)

Robot Turtles Teaches Kids to Code, Hits Kickstarter Goal in 5 Hours

September 4th - via:
Most of the time, teaching computer skills to children requires the use of a computer. But a new board game that conveys programming concepts without a screen rocketed through Kickstarter yesterday, securing its $25,000 minimum goal from hundreds of backers in just five hours. (Read More)

Robot Turtles are coming

September 3rd - via:
Wow! It's been 3.5 hours, and at $15k, Robot Turtles is past the halfway mark. I'm truly grateful for your support. I was not expecting this level of excitement!  And it means I can do some cool stuff! First, I'm going to add another some more units... (Read More)

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