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Rainbow Reef is a bubbly gardening game where you nurture your very own coral reef – inspired by the current state of the Great Barrier Reef.

Using the sunlight collected by your corals, you can sculpt your reef to your liking. If your reef is growing swimmingly, you will get all kinds of unique sea creatures to visit. If they are sufishiently impressed, they might even choose your reef as their new home!

Collecting creatures will add new pages to your Aquapaedia, and school you on how to unlock the seacrets of the ocean. Splash out with your pearls to build a sunken ship or discover ancient ruins, and you’ll be shore to make a cosy crabitat that even the most shellfish creature would share.

Our Role

James Sugrue from AFK Agency originally approached us to develop a mobile game that focused on in-app products and a thriving virtual economy.

After designing and presenting 3 very different pitches, Rainbow Reef was a clear favourite. Its topical narrative based on ocean and reef protection would help with visibility and virality, and its mechanics encourage long-term retention via player exploration and collection.

We were responsible for the entire development pipeline from concept through to App Store delivery. AFK employed a hands-off approach that encouraged quick, internal iterations which integrated feedback gathered from user-testing.

We focused on a new feature or system every sprint so that AFK regularly had a new prototype to playtest. This gave us a great opportunity to understand and integrate their feedback continuously throughout 5 months of development.

The Vision

Coral reefs around the world are disappearing at an alarming rate. They’ve been in the news a lot recently because of how quickly they have been bleaching, dying, and turning into slime.

Economists estimate the value of the world’s coral reefs in the hundreds of billions of dollars per year. This is largely due to the food, income, and food security that they provide to hundreds of millions of coast-dwelling people around the world. It is also due to the security that healthy reefs offer shorelines from tropical storms and other natural disasters.

Despite their obvious importance to Earth’s ecosystem, most people are unaware of what corals are (they’re animals, not plants), how widespread the man-made damage is (your children might not get the chance to see a healthy reef), and what they can do on an individual level to help (a lot more than you think).

Improving awareness is where Rainbow Reef comes in, and where we hope to have much more of an impact.

Our team is very passionate about coral reefs, and we have channeled that passion into the design of this project. We hope to inspire some of Rainbow Reef’s players to learn more about the creatures and corals that reside within the game.

Games are a great tool for sparking curiosity and inspiration. We have taken some creative licence to make the content simple and engaging, but we hope that those who play Rainbow Reef will be inspired to dive a little deeper and learn more about one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.



AFK Agency



Release Date

Strategy / Simulation