The Strawberry Thief iPad Game

October 24, 2014
new iPad game, Strawberry Thief
Sophia George with her new iPad game, Strawberry Thief, © Victoria and Albert Musuem, London

I’m extremely excited to announce the launch of my new iPad game, Strawberry Thief.

It’s changed a lot since the early prototype I made at the V&A earlier in the year, but I am thrilled with how the finished piece turned out.

Download: Strawberry Thief Free iPad Game

I was Games Designer in Residence at the V&A from October 2013 to March 2014.  I used the history of British design shown in the Britain 1500-1900 galleries as a starting point for my research, and after a few weeks I decided to focus on the William Morris textile pieces that are on display in Gallery 125g. The aim of my residency was to release a finished game following a period of game production at Abertay University. I wanted this game to offer a new and exciting interpretation of the V&A collections, as well as encouraging visitor participation and learning from the Britain 1500-1900 galleries.

Still from Strawberry Thief by Sophia George
Still from Strawberry Thief by Sophia George, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

In the game, you have to use the Strawberry Thief bird to collect strawberries which enable you to paint. First you start with a blank piece of paper where you sketch the pattern. Once the pattern is drawn out, you can start to add some basic colours to the piece. Finally, richer colours and texture are added to finish the design. To control the bird’s movement, you simply draw lines on the touchscreen and the bird will follow your path.

I wanted to create something where the user gets to experience the details and beauty of the original pattern. Sometimes when we look at pieces of art and design, we often just focus on the work as a whole, and this is especially true when looking at repeating patterns! Therefore when the game starts, the pattern is zoomed in so that every flower and leaf is visible, and when the game is finished, it is shown in its entirety. This project at the V&A has opened my eyes up to the possibilities of what games design can show. I am keen to look at more work by other famous British artists and designers and see what kinds of games can arise!

After my residency finished at the V&A in March I spent the summer living in Dundee Scotland to work on my game at Abertay University. To develop my game concepts, I worked with Erin Michno from the games company Quartic Llama who programmed Strawberry Thief. For the art and animation, I worked with Abertay Students Ellen Brown and Cameron Moore, who have recently gone back to university to start their fourth and third years of study. As for the audio for the game, I worked with Neil Cullen from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Here’s a video showing a glimpse of the recording session

Download: Strawberry Thief Free iPad Game


Read more about Sophia George’s residency at the V&A

Strawberry Thief by Sophia George, developed in collaboration with the V&A, V&A Dundee and Abertay University

26 comments so far, view or add yours


Why are you discriminating against Android users?

Please make an Android version. As an artist who greatly appreciates the works of William Morris, I would very much like to have this game. Thank you.

We whiled away a lazy Saturday morning sipping tea in bed stealing strawberries. Such a lovely way to connect people with Morris.

I would love to play this game on my iMac.

Thanks for such a beautiful game! Is there any way to count how many strawberries my bird steals during each game?

I am aged 60,and very excited by the idea of this game.I can’t afford an IPad. Please develops an android version. Thank you.

Dear Elizabeth, thank you for your comment. We hope to be able to develop a Android version in the future. For the launch we had to make a decision to release the game on just one platform which could reach the largest audience and within a limited budget.

Dear John, we are very happy you had such a lovely time playing our game!

Dear Roberta, thank you for your comment. We would love to be able to produce an Android version. However, due to time and budget restraints the development team made the common decision to focus on the one platform which reaches the largest audience without ruling out further versions in the future.

Dear Bridget, thank you for your comment. It’s not our intention to discriminate against Android users. The Game Designer in Residence developed an interactive experience best suited for larger screens, and within a limited budget. To guarantee the best experience for the greatest number of players, the development team made the common decision to focus on one platform without ruling out further versions in the future.

Dear Helen, thanks for your comment. Sorry, I don’t believe it’s possible to count the number of strawberries stolen. We were keen to try and remove any competitive feel to the game and focus instead on the visual experience.

Dear Marylin, thank you for your comment. Due to time and budget restraints the development team made the common decision to focus on the one platform which reaches the largest audience without ruling out further versions in the future. I agree the game would look wonderful on a large iMac screen.

Hi Sophia, Regards your reply to Elizabeth Lays question on if/when an android version may be released and your reply, you may be interested in the following.

“Fueled by a 127 percent surged in worldwide sales, Android tablets collectively overtook the iPad last year, research firm Gartner said Monday.

Android tablet sales jumped to 120.9 million in 2013 to snag a global market share of 61.9 percent, up from sales of 53.3 million and a 45.8 percent share in 2012. Over the same time, iPad sales grew to 70.4 million from 61.4 million. But Apple’s share of the tablet market dropped to 36 percent from 52.8 percent.

Apple’s slice of the market fell amid increased demand for smaller, low-cost, name-brand tablets and cheap “white-box” products from off-brand manufacturers in emerging regions, Gartner said. Tablet sales for the whole industry grew by 145 percent across emerging markets compared with 31 percent in mature markets.”


What a lovely game with such beautiful art! Sophia, congratulations.

It must be exciting to hear that so many people want to play the game you designed.
It must also be difficult to receive some of the comments about the platform choice .

Yes, I would be very disappointed if I couldn’t play the game on my type of electronic device. Apple devices are more expensive. However, as you explained, the choice of platform was a team decision, and not in your control. Even if Android has outsold Mac, the decision was already made.

I hope you can bask in the joy of your accomplishment. Best wishes for your future success!

Would love this for my iMac and android device

I don’t know how to play! What do you have to do? I can’t see how you get the pattern to colour in? How do you steal strawberries?

very nice. like bjork’s biophilia, would love to actually play it. keep it up, folks!
-frustrated android user

Would so love to play this on my hudl, very unusual not to have an android version :(

Just love the game. seeing William Morris design in this context really brings it to life.

I genuinely enjoyed playing Strawberry Thief. It is really a great game. Will it also release for other platform like Android anytime soon?

Strawberry Thief is an awesome game to be frank but unfortunately it is no longer supporting iOS 11 will you please update the game so it is compatible with it? I will really appreciate it.

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