A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
CODA GAME - MAKE YOUR OWN GAMES, CODING FOR KIDS, UNLIMITED CREATIVITY is a simple visual-programming experience for kids. They can design two types of video games (whack-a-mole and side-scroller) using drag-and-drop picture commands and triggers. They can set the character, enemies, setting, speed, and more. They'll tell the game what to do if they hit an obstacle, shoot or hit something, or miss a target, and they decide how and when a game is won or lost. Kids can then test their games and, when ready, upload them to a cloud server to be enjoyed by other players. Likewise, kids can download game created by others. Each account (you can have up to six in the app) is identified by a canned username that kids choose at the beginning.
Is it any good?
This adorable sandbox video-game-design experience will appeal most to younger kids who want the thrill of making their own games. It serves as a playful introduction to video-game design without confusing little ones with too many options. The characters, enemies, and settings are candy-store colorful, and the sounds are silly. With little logic involved and no actual coding, it's too simple for most kids who are already interested in learning to design games or code. That said, it's a nice introduction for those who haven't already been bitten by the coding bug. Coda Game is heavy on the visuals, which has appeal for kids with fewer reading skills but can be frustrating as you try to figure out what the many icons are: Some have descriptions when tapped, and some don't. It could also use at least one more game type to really round things out. For kids with a bit of patience, a drive to create, and little to no coding knowledge, this is an opportunity to make something other kids can download and play, which is both educational and empowering.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about action triggers and commands, just like in the game. What are examples of triggers and commands in other items you use? Think about things such as light switches, remote controls, and telephones.
Discuss how the games are like games your kids have played? If they could design any type of game, what would it be? What would it look like?
Walk through the commands in the game and talk about how they work. What are other examples of instructions we follow in daily life? What about making a sandwich or getting dressed? Does it matter what order the instructions follow?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic, problem solving
Creativity: making new creations, producing new content
Self-Direction: achieving goals, work to achieve goals
Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free to try (full version $3.99)
- Release date: October 5, 2016
- Category: Education
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Size: 190.00 MB
- Publisher: Filimundus AB
- Version: 1.3.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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