A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
BOOEYS: A GHOST'S CODE teams kids up with helper ghosts called Booeys to encourage creeper-style characters called the Lost to go toward the light, so to speak. The goal? Get the Lost to the portal where they will rise up to the sky in a wispy Lost cloud. It starts out easy enough: Booeys can take over Lost bodies and move them around. But soon enough, we realize that sometimes things are too complex for such a basic solution. The Lost are drawn to light, and it's not always the light they should be seeking. Fire, water, boulders, and more are all perils the Lost face on their way to their final resting place. Booeys have their hands full helping the Lost navigate these obstacles with an increasingly complex set of rules. Each level is a new puzzle, and kids must direct the Booeys on a predesigned path that will save the level's Lost. Then they press Play and hope for the best. If they succeed, the Lost reach the portal and depart the world. If they fail, the Lost are drowned, turned to ash, splatted on the ground, or otherwise, well ... lost. But have no fear! Kids can change the Booey's path over and over until they get it right. Hints are available, but they are few and far between. In between levels, the spirited Booeys engage in some banter with the player. Frequently, Booeys send kids off to the sponsoring website to "get more information," which typically translates into giving contact information.
Is it any good?
With a spooky vibe and some cheeky dialogue, this is a more tween-friendly approach to coding logic than many games provide. Booeys: A Ghost's Code is entertaining, clever, and smart. There are other games that teach similar skill, but they often employ cutesy robots and animals to do the trick. This just feels like a more mature approach, especially when paired with high levels of Booey sarcasm. The use of this type of game as a recruitment tool is an interesting one, but there's far too much pressure for kids to turn over their contact info. Some kids may find themselves stuck and not able to continue. There are hints, but the hints won't solve the problems for you. It's a refreshing approach to coding logic that will appeal to tweens who don't appreciate cute and don't need a personal cheerleader to feel motivated.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about solving puzzles. How do you start solving a puzzle like the ones in Booeys: A Ghost's Code? What do you do if you don't get the results you expect? What do you do if you're stuck?
Discuss your rules for sharing contact information online and via apps. Are there circumstances when it's OK to do so?
Talk about screen use. How do you like this app as compared with other apps you could play? If you have limited time for screen use, would you pick this app over other apps on your device? Why, or why not?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic, solving puzzles, strategy
Tech Skills: coding
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: August 9, 2017
- Category: Educational Games
- Topics: STEM, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Size: 225.00 MB
- Publisher: Etcetera Edutainment, Inc.
- Version: 1.2.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up
- Last updated: March 29, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.