We are Mattador Starfish

Mattador Starfish is a social enterprise aiming to solve social problems using the positive power of apps, video games, and interactive media. We are a group of people from Johannesburg, South Africa who’ve come together to make a difference in the world. Our mission is to use technology to form good habits and behaviours, help overcome daily struggles and empower people.

We make things. All the things.

We are currently working on a mobile game, but we love to experiment and we’re game (pun intended) to build anything. The only requirement for what we build is that it has a greater purpose and can make a difference in the world, in some way or another.

Codex Knights, our current project, is being built to ignite a passion for reading and discovery and to show the vibrancy of African culture. We’re also looking for stories written by young, amateur African authors. If you’re interested, apply here.

Current Focus


We are passionate about video games and education but these two don’t always go very well together. “Codex Knights” is our first foray into making a game that’s about fun first but has an underlying educational aspect. We have big ideas for the future but before we can jump into the industry headfirst and bring about real, sustainable change, we need to find a formula that works. We are implementing mechanics in the game that are intended to gamify reading. The game will require the player to read the books included in the game so they can solve puzzles and complete quests. This is the very early version of the idea (and it still has a ways to go) but through continuous development and user feedback, we’re aiming to refine this into a very effective formula that can be used in multiple contexts in the future. For example, we could use this mechanic to build a game or app to incentivise students to study.


As people who were born and raised in South Africa, we’ve been immersed in the vibrant and colourful culture of Southern Africa our entire lives. Africa is a melting pot of diverse cultures, colourful clothes, innovation, and beautiful vistas. However, Africa doesn’t always have the best reputation. We tend to only hear about the negative things, especially in the media. There are many positive things about Africa though and we want to showcase these things. We want to empower young people in Africa to tell the stories that have not been told yet. We are actively looking for young African citizens to submit their story ideas, particularly stories that are of a fantasy or science-fiction nature. We will publish and distribute those books online as well as integrate these stories into “Codex Knights”. We also have plans to further empower African authors to share their stories and ideas. Stay tuned…

Codex Knights

Our Projects

Codex Knights

Codex Knights is an open world adventure game designed to combine the wonder of reading with the immersion and interactivity of video games. As Jiara Maverick, explore multiple living, breathing story worlds based on African Read more…

African Stories

We believe that there are many African stories that haven’t been told yet. We want to empower authors in Africa to share these stories. We are working on ways to make this possible. Subscribe to Read more…

Get in Touch

Let us know if you have any questions or just want to say hi. 🙂

Contact Us