Your ship crash-lands on an alien world. To get out alive, you need to hack your way through the wreckage — not with an axe, but with algorithms. Your skills are a little rusty, so you turn to the shiny round drone hovering over your shoulder: "Siri, what's a boolean operator?"
Welcome the world of Kuato Studios, a London-based startup developing a third-person-shooter-style game designed to teach kids how to code. Company founder Frank Meehan pulled together a team of developers from Rockstar, Konami and other top-shelf gaming companies earlier this year to build what he sees as an antidote to too much boring educational software. An early prototype resembles EA's sci-fi adventure Mass Effect; Meehan hopes that Kuato's as-yet-unnamed iPad-based game will engage kids by looking and feeling as much as possible like the games they play for fun. But the game comes with a secret weapon those other games don't have — Siri's heir apparent.