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The Early Literacy Game Made by Scientists


location_on Finland
We are a Finnish company bringing together universities, game developers and educators to create fun, evidence-based literacy apps for young children in every major language. GraphoGame teaches letters, syllables and words offline through a phonetic methodology and dynamic level design that adapts to the proficiency of each student. We aim to end illiteracy for all children, everywhere.
Nshimbi, J.C., Serpell, R. & Westerholm, J., 2020 (doi: 10.4102/sajce.v10i1.620)
"Children who were exposed to GraphoGame performed better than the control group on all literacy measures. Furthermore, parent's performance on the tests improved after the intervention."

Nshimbi, J.C., Serpell, R. & Westerholm, J., 2020 (doi: 10.4102/sajce.v10i1.620)


HundrED has not validated this innovation

Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created by Stuart Clarke on March 10th, 2021
Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
3 000 000
Updated on June 24th, 2022
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Illiteracy costs the world over a trillion dollars every year in poor health, crime, lost earnings, welfare, lost productivity and other societal harms. We know from 2 decades of longitudinal research, over 300 international research publications and parents' reports that our game and methodology achieves basic literacy in every child from 4 to 9 years old, including dyslexic children.

How does your innovation work in practice?

Our innovation is designed to be available offline, on any type of device, so long as audio can be played for the user. The best results have been found in children aged 5 to 8, although we have learned in practice that it is useful for struggling readers of any age and children as young as 4. Players create their own customizable avatar and set off to train their first and most fundamental skills in literacy through phonics (connecting letters and sounds). After mastering letter-sound connections, players move on to blending (combining sounds into syllables) and, finally, to challenging syllables and complicated words. This sequence is known as the synthetic approach to reading instruction.

The methodology was originally gamified in 1992 for the early-identification of dyslexia by Prof. Heikki Lyytinen, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Literacy Learning for All, and colleagues at University of Jyväskylä and Niilo Mäki Institute in Finland. Since then, 35 language versions were developed.

How has it been spreading?

Grapho Group was founded in 2017, with the intention of bringing this proven literacy solution from Finland’s national curriculum to the global market. Currently we are distributing GraphoGame in 8 languages via the Google Play, Microsoft and Apple App Stores. However, in nationwide licensing deals we have also pre-installed the game on thousands of devices being sent to remote communities. Today, our apps have accrued 2 million downloads worldwide.

Our goal for 2021-22 is to license the game as free-to-download app for every nation on Earth. Over the next decade, we will develop enough language versions to give quality literacy instruction in every child's native language.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

If you want to bring this innovation to your nation as a free-to-download literacy resource, please visit:

To download any of our language versions, please visit:

The game is free to download in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Finland, France, Guatemala, Jamaica, Norway, Panama, Peru & Venezuela.


Achievements & Awards

March 2021
Innovation page created on

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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Visit the GraphoGame Licensing Page
to learn more about how nationwide implementation works:
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