A 10-year-old from Ben Avon is breathing new life into the timeless game of rock-paper-scissors, making him the youngest app entrepreneur on iOS.
The name of the game is RoX
, a reinvention of the popular handgame but with the finesse of chess and checkers. Aidan Sommers, a student at Avonworth Elementary, invented it as board game for his family at the age of seven, using styrofoam balls and egg cartons.
He wanted to market it as an actual board game, but his parents pointed out that they didn't have space to store the boxes. An app was the perfect solution.
"I love board games, checkers, monopoly," explains the articulate young man. "I wanted it to be a classic kind of board game but with modern technology, which I think is more intriguing to youth."
Two people play the best of five rounds. Points are earned by creating one of three battle elements--a rock, paper, or scissors--and configuring them in proper formation on the game board. Players earn a “RoXStar” for each victory.
"It’s a little bit harder than tic, tac, toe or checkers, but it’s a good training ground for playing chess," says Aidan. "With RoX, you have an aspect that your opponent won't see what's coming next."
Aidan and his dad took the game to a programmer at first, only to realize they had a very marketable product. Pittsburgh-based TrueFit ultimately helped launch it on iTunes
Several phone calls from Apple and some paperwork later, Apple told Aidan's dad that he was the youngest app creator on iOS. A patent is underway. The app was launched in early March and sells for $1.99; a portion of the proceeds are donated to impoverished children in Haiti.
"Aidan has always played strategy games, but this goes beyond that," says his dad who recently watched his son give a talk to students on his accomplishment. "It's amazing what Apple has done to unleash creativity in kids."
Source: Aidan and Robert Sommers
Image of the Sommers Family courtesy of them