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Gaming app to save turtles


Dubai-based media firm releases Olly Oops! to raise awareness on conservation efforts of Olive Ridley sea turtles

June 19, 2014 5:53 by

With mobile playing such a significant role in the Middle East, it’s a competitive market for local app developers.

However, when Dubai-based media firm Online Marketing Solutions (OMS) released its newest gaming app – Olly Oops! – it viewed it more as a fun project.

“Low-end tappy/flappy games were all the rage a couple of months back and we were keen to see if we could come up with something that would be visually appealing and interesting for kids of all ages,” says Haani Samar, manager, OMS.

The Android game, which revolves around guiding Olly the Olive Riddle turtle through the sea safely, has been downloaded more than 5,000 times in the two weeks since its launch. “The app has just been picked up by review sites and news agencies across the globe and we are very excited to see where it goes,” says Samar.

With endangered turtles in the news recently, the team was inspired to create a game that was not only entertaining, but also helped to raise awareness about ecological issues. Part of the proceeds from the game will also be donated to Olive Ridley rescue efforts. The Olive Ridley sea turtle is classified as ‘vulnerable’ according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).  Once slaughtered in the hundreds of thousands for meat and leather, the species has yet to recover from over-exploitation.

Samar, whose firm has been working on mobile content for almost a decade now, says that there are apps being released every day in the region. However, he notes that the general standards are still low. “Unfortunately, there is a general lack of quality in the offerings by single developers or smaller outfits in the region. It could be in language, graphics, UI or content. Apps coming out of the medium sized agencies are of a higher standard due to collaborations, team effort and internal quality control. We would love to see some VCs / Incubators in the region who are easily accessible to the smaller developers just so that they too can put out higher quality offerings.”

Olly Oops! is available to download from Google Play for free.

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