Dodoo Adventure: Kids Coding

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Dodoo Adventure: Kids Coding App Poster Image
Basic coding intro is fun, accessible, but stays simple.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn the basic coding concept of planning ahead. By plotting out the turns a vehicle must take to progress along a path, kids have to conceptualize and plan out a sequence.

Ease of Play

Easy to tap and drag directional arrows though puzzles may be challenging for young kids.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Two small icons on the home screen advertise store to make in-app purchases and other app from the same developer. Kids must solve an addition problem immediately upon tapping the icons. Limited content available with free download; additional levels unlock with in-app purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dodoo Adventure: Kids Coding is a simple introduction to the basic concept behind coding. Kids use directional arrows to guide a train (or other vehicle) along a path, avoiding obstacles along the way. The free download includes 20 levels with the train. Additional settings and vehicles are available through in-app purchases of $.99 each or all five for $3.99. Though the app is mostly accessible for young kids, parents may need to be available to help their little ones plan and conceptualize the vehicle's path. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

After tapping play and choosing an available theme, DODOO ADVENTURE: KIDS CODING starts with a simple tutorial. In each level, kids use directional arrows (up, down, left, right) to guide a vehicle, e.g., a train, through a path to reach a treasure chest. Kids "code" by planning out the directions first. Then they tap the train to make it go and follow the code. If the directions lead the train astray, kids must fix their code. As kids progress, obstacles get added, such as a button to pass over to lift a barrier. There are six themes that feature different settings and vehicles, each with 20 levels; the train theme comes with the free download, but you have to purchase the others.

Is it any good?

Simple puzzles lightly based on some basic principles of coding meet fun, kid-friendly themes in this leveled game. The mechanics of getting through the levels in Dodoo Adventure: Kids Coding is simple enough for preschoolers to handle: Simply drag arrow icons to empty slots at the top of the screen, then tap the train (or other vehicle) to make it go. However, the planning involved may be a bit challenging for young kids, particularly because the arrows feel very removed from the actual action that ends up taking place. But with a little help and guidance, any preschooler motivated enough to figure it out will get it eventually. There are some fun obstacles, like portals, that add to the challenge and keep the levels from feeling too tedious. With 20 levels, the amount of content that comes with the free download is fairly generous -- and more than enough to figure out if you're interested in buying more levels. Purchased levels progress a bit more quickly than the free ones and introduce different challenges. But, with only four commands (up, down, right, left) and one correct solution per puzzle, the complexity is somewhat limited.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to plan sequences with Dodoo Adventure: Kids Coding. Help your kids think ahead to what turn the vehicle needs to take at every juncture.

  • Try out a few different coding games so kids can get a feel for the limitless possibilities available. If kids are into it, let them try out some more complicated coding apps.

  • Encourage kids to engage in STEM activities on and off the screen. Are there experiments your kid wants to do? Are they interested in building and making things?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic, solving puzzles, spatial reasoning
    Tech Skills: coding
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (unlock additional level packs for $.99 each or $3.99 for all five)
  • Release date: November 27, 2019
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: STEM
  • Size: 131.90 MB
  • Publisher: Yunbu Innovation
  • Version: 2.1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later, Android varies with device
  • Last updated: December 18, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love coding and STEM

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