Earthquake Response - Save The Children Australia iPhone Game - Save The Children Australia

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Mobile Awards - Finalist

Project Commissioner

Save The Children Australia
Bree Neville

Project Creator

Grant Hull
Enabled Solutions

Project Team

Enabled are an Australian creative cross-platform company - taking brands, content and experiences to the next level of interactive engagement.

Project Overview

An 8.2 magnitude earthquake strikes a populated island in the Atlantic Ocean. How will you respond?

Invading the entertainment space with a serious message, Save The Children Earthquake Response is an addictive and educational game that thrusts you into the life-and-death pressure of emergency response. The fast-paced action will have your fingers flying while you gain real insight into saving lives.

The world-first disaster relief app attracted thousands of downloads, five star reviews, and international media coverage from Australia to Ireland to the New York Times.

Project Brief

We could have developed a traditional charity app about Save The Children, but only people already interested in them would have downloaded it. Our goal was bigger. We wanted to engage a younger, new audience in Save The Children’s life-saving work.

So what are the majority of iPhone and iPod Touch users interested in? Games.

We worked with people who have been on the ground in the wake of disaster, trying to minimise collateral damage with aid for the injured, homeless, and hungry. The challenge was taking the raw reality of real-life emergency relief and making it into something engaging, yet educational for gamers.

Earthquake Response emulates real world disaster relief, requiring players to identify needs, set up facilities, manage the logistics of incoming materials, and allocate resources optimally to meet needs. As players save lives by supplying water, shelter, and medical aid to victims of the disaster, a level by level narration teaches them about disaster relief.

The game successfully broke out of the charity niche and into the entertainment space, with thousands of downloads around the world. Players appreciated both its fun and educational aspects:

“I heard Hughesey and Kate on Nova talking about this the other day, so I decided to jump on and download it. It’s a great app game - and I’ve learned lots from it. A game with heart!” - RockTheKasbah, iTunes App Store Reviewer

Project Innovation / Need

With natural disasters expected to escalate with climate change, awareness of the needs of disaster victims and life-saving work of emergency relief organisations is crucial. Yet as the pleas for help and number of good causes grow, it’s easy to switch off. That’s why we introduced a free game that doesn’t ask for anything, but invites you to have fun, and maybe learn something important while you do.

Users who want to get involved are given the opportunity to learn more about Save The Children and donate through the app. They can also elect to receive Push Notifications when a major natural disaster occurs, so they can respond instantly.

The game was a world-first for disaster relief, and because of this gained unprecedented media attention for Save The Children. People who would never normally have taken the time to learn about this charity started meaningfully interacting with them and giving to their incredible work.

User Experience

Fast-paced, challenging, and interactive, Earthquake Response has all the crucial elements of an addictive game. Between each level, the pressure increases, with a cleverly interlinked story mode that educates while adding another dimension to the game.

Put in the shoes of an aid worker, players find themselves frantically trying to save as many lives as possible. The same people playing games like Flight Control are now learning about Save The Children. The app also encourages them to share their achievements with Facebook friends, stay connected with Save The Children through Push Notifications, and support the Children’s Emergency Relief Fund.

Project Marketing

Earthquake Response was released just before International Day for Disaster Reduction as a launch tool for the Children’s Emergency Fund.

The idea was to let the uniqueness and heart of the game get people talking, and it certainly did. Save The Children were thrilled as the app was featured by media throughout the world, including the New York Times, Reuters, and SBS World News. It was more coverage than they had ever received before, and the media was not just talking about the app, but the Children’s Relief Fund too.

Earthquake Response is an unprecedented success for Save The Children and the best campaign launch tool they’ve ever used. It attracted a new, global audience for the vital, life-saving charity.