Curve Games and Denki have pledged to offer 5000 free copies of Autonauts vs PirateBots to educational bodies across the UK on a first-come, first-served basis as part of the Autonauts Codes for Education (ACE) initiative. The ingenious family-friendly video game launches next week and is proven to educate players on the fundamentals of programming. 


Teachers, tutors and lecturers will be able to claim 30 free Steam copies of the game on PC for their institution by providing their professional email and photo ID via this form:  

Based in Dundee, Scotland’s gaming epicenter, Denki is the development studio behind the BAFTA Award-winning original Autonauts and its forthcoming sequel. Denki’s Creative Director, Gary Penn is an industry legend having worked on the original Grand Theft Auto whilst Creative Manager at DMA Design, the studio responsible for Lemmings.  

“Autonauts vs PirateBots is a game for everyone, but it also doubles up as a learning tool. Teachers have contacted Denki to let us know that they are using the original Autonauts to teach students the logic behind coding, especially as it encourages creativity and discussion with other players. It may look simple on the surface but there are tons of programming challenges disguised beneath this infectious sim, which is why we’ve decided to gift 5000 copies to schools, colleges and universities across the UK.”– Gary Penn, Head of Development 

Endorsing the campaign is Chris van der Kuyl, a visiting professor of digital entertainment at University of Abertay Dundee, awardee of an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Dundee, and an honorary Doctor of Business degree from Edinburgh Napier University and Doctor honoris causa from the University of Edinburgh. 

“Video games are a great way to entertain ourselves, have fun together, and to relax – this is all the more reason why their intersection with education is something that needs to be taken seriously,” explains Chris van der Kuyl, who is also co-founder of 4J Studios - responsible for the multi-million selling and multi-award winning Minecraft Console Editions. 

Whilst games like the Nintendo DS title, Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training, were designed to improve mental arithmetic, more recently commercially successful games like Minecraft and Roblox have been utilised to teach chemistry, computer-aided design, maths, and computer science.   

Autonauts vs PirateBots marries an utterly charming artistic vibe with an innovative and intuitive ‘show-and-tell' Scratch-style coding system to make unique automation gameplay accessible to all. The game launches via Steam on Thursday 28 July 2022 and is the follow-up to the multi-award-winning title Autonauts where players must build, create, and automate to establish a thriving settlement, crafting bots and programming them to build an ever-evolving autonomous paradise of agriculture, industry, and enlightenment.   

Autonauts vs PirateBots merges the adorable art style of Autonauts with the feel and pace of an RTS with players tasked to defend their settlement using a Bot army to combat invading pirate enemies.