Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers

App review by
David Thomas, Common Sense Media
Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers App Poster Image
Program robots, watch them fight; fun but light on coding.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn some basic coding skills and procedural literacy while battling flashy robots. Players who get hooked on customizing machines and seeing how they fare in a chess-like game will learn some basic programming bits, such as functions and code format. Ultimately, with Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers kids may learn more about solving puzzles than programming computers.

Ease of Play

Early levels start out easy, but robot customization, the point system that limits what you can do each turn, and the in-app purchases, the player might be overwhelmed.

Violence

 Machine-on-machine violence; explosions and shuddering machines that rattle apart when attacked.

Sex
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers will inspire kids who love robots to learn a little bit about the programming that goes into making computers work. Keep in mind, once new players have the basics covered, they'll need to move onto other experiences to really learn more practical coding skills. Though the first levels are easy, kids might face frustration as they face the point system and in-app purchases. Be aware that the focus of the game is fighting robots, so there is machine-on-machine violence.

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What's it about?

In some futuristic dystopia, humanoid robots battle to death in a combat arena in HAKITZU ELITE: ROBOT HACKERS. It's played out like a life-size version of chess, in that players program their battle bots using preset functions and JavaScript syntax. On each turn, the bots run their code, attempting to disable the enemy and hack their central command core. Coding earns points, which can unlock special weapons, and in-app purchases give access to other robot features.

Is it any good?

On the surface, Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers provides an enticing gateway for younger robot fans to take control of their machines, but it doesn't go quite deep enough. A stripped down JavaScript coding interface allows players to send their robots marching across the screen and into various forms of melee. Though this programming chess match can be fun, it's more about flash than substance. Beneath the cool graphics, the point system and in-app purchases may frustrate some kids, and the hints and tips move pretty quickly for new coders. In the end it's a great idea that just needs a little more focus and depth.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how computer code instructs, for example, robots and computers on how to behave.

  • Talk about how thinking ahead and puzzle-solving are skills that work for game-playing and solving computer coding problems.

  • Discuss the ethics of technology. If robots do what their programs tell them to, is it up to the programmers to code responsibly?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love coding and engineering

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