CBBC orders its first play-along show

Young contestants Ludus has been produced by Boom Pictures in Cardiff

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CBBC has commissioned its first interactive game show where viewers can play along with contestants.

Titled Ludus, the 20-part series focuses on the eponymous villain who has sent the participants' friends and family into space.

Viewers can join the contenders in playing six levels to win back their loved ones and return home.

The games can be played while viewers are watching the show during broadcast or on iPlayer, and will be available on desktop and mobile devices before transmission in the New Year.

Ludus is being made in Cardiff by Boom Pictures, which produced the UK's first second-screen play-along game for children in S4C's game show Y Lifft (The Lift). The formats for both shows have been created with Cube Interactive.

CBBC, which targets viewers aged between six and 12, is currently increasing its interactive output and will launch an app before March 2014.

Antiques app The Antiques Roadshow play-along game was launched last autumn

A recent Ofcom survey found that use of a tablet computer at home had trebled to 42% among 5-15s, compared to 14% in 2012.

Channel controller Cheryl Taylor said: "Ludus is compelling and charismatic with a big thrill factor for those who just want to view too. We're confident that this will be the first of many such sophisticated experiences for CBBC."

Executive producer Rob Hyde said the show had a vintage sci-fi feel, adding: "When designing the interior of the space ship, we imagined how it might look if it had been designed for kids by Apple and NASA."

Ludus will be executive produced by Rob Hyde and Angharad Garlick for Boom, and Melissa Hardinge and Mario Dubois for CBBC.

The BBC has already launched a play-along game for Antiques Roadshow, which drew 1.5m unique users last autumn. The Voice UK also introduced a play-along predictor game for its second series earlier this year.

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