DevKit: Learn to Code & Make Games

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
DevKit: Learn to Code & Make Games App Poster Image
Code-free iOS app builder has steep learning curve.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can start to understand the basics of game development and some of the logic involved in coding. Sample content within the app would make it more educational. 

Ease of Play

Little is intuitive about this experience, and the built-in tutorial is glitchy, leaving users stuck partway through. With no in-game sample content to take apart or build on, it's tough to get started. There are additional videos and documentation, but not in-app. 

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Users will likely need to purchase the ability to build new apps and/or submit their apps to the app store. There's no parent gate to buy.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that DevKit: Learn to Code & Make Games is a tool for creating iOS apps without any coding ability. Despite the name, it doesn't teach kids to code. In fact, it doesn't involve any coding, although it does use coding concepts like variables and loops. The in-app interactive tutorial is glitchy, making it difficult to follow. Kids will most likely need one of the other available tutorials just to get started. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared. 

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What's it about?

DEVKIT: LEARN TO CODE & MAKE GAMES is designed to allow kids and adults to design their own games without needing to code. Each app has three main components: scenes, objects, and actions. Scenes are screens in your game with specific content, such as an instruction page, a gameplay page, and a final score page. Objects are things within the game such as the score display, a button, or an avatar. They can be colors, variables, backgrounds, images, or words. Actions are what happens behind the scenes. An action might say that when a player presses an object (such as a button), another object moves a certain number of spaces. Using these three elements, kids can build games and then test and debug them. With payment, teens can submit their creations to the app store.

Is it any good?

The potential is there to build some cool things, but a steep learning curve will keep many kids from getting there. DevKit: Learn to Code & Make Games has a compelling premise ... allowing people to make games without having to code is appealing. But the interface is clunky and bland, the tutorial is broken, and the "coding" feels tedious. Kids may take to the experience with an instructor or mentor guiding them through the process, but only the most motivated will stick this out otherwise. It's just too much work to do much of anything. If your child (or you) is eager to publish his or her own app-based game, give it a shot. That's what makes this app stand out among other, similar experiences. Otherwise, there are easier ways to learn to code and better ways to make a game. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about app development. What kind of app would you want to make? Is DevKit: Learn to Code & Make Games the right tool to help you get there?

  • Talk about in-app purchases and how or if kids can request purchases from an adult. What are the family rules?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Skills: Creativity: imagination, making new creations, producing new content
    Tech Skills: coding, digital creation
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (Create one app for free. More apps and App Store Builds range from $2.99-$99.99.)
  • Release date: August 22, 2017
  • Category: Productivity
  • Size: 39.90 MB
  • Publisher: Vybe Software LLC
  • Version: 4.0.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later

For kids who love coding

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