Lightbot - Programming Puzzles App Poster Image

Lightbot - Programming Puzzles



Challenging programming puzzler teaches coding logic.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn programming concepts and terminology such as procedures, loops, and conditionals. Settings can be customized for seven languages, making the app accessible to students worldwide, with programming as the universal language. Kids will learn that, even though there's often more than one way to solve a problem (or write a program), cleaner and more efficient solutions are preferred; here, those are rewarded with stars. With the growing availability of kid-targeted programming apps, Lightbot best suits kids already drawn to programming and logic who also thrive on puzzles and challenges.

Ease of play

Commands work beautifully, with only a tap needed to place or remove one. The challenge ramps up very quickly, but kids can redo each challenge, learning from their mistakes, until they get it.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Lightbot is a puzzler that teaches kids concepts used in computer programming. This programming app was developed for kids by an undergraduate student who's been coding since he was a kid himself. Brief instructions are included at the beginning of each level -- what you need to know when you need to know it. The level of challenge ramps up very quickly, making this best-suited for older kids and teens.

What's it about?

Kids move a robot along a Q*bert-style maze by dragging commands into place, lighting up specified tiles as they go in LIGHTBOT. Completing one level unlocks a more challenging level that introduces new programming concepts. Kids collect stars for meeting certain requirements, such as completing the program in no more than a specified number of steps. They can collect up to 20 stars over 40 levels, working with such programming concepts as procedures, loops, conditionals, and overloading.

Is it any good?


This very challenging puzzler does a fabulous job of teaching kids programming concepts, but it's most likely to engage kids who would be drawn to programming anyway, mostly because of the quickly escalating challenge. There are no user accounts, so only one player at a time can work through the levels, but kids can erase and start over for a new player. The level of challenge ramps up very quickly, so younger kids may enjoy more programming playtime with My Robot Friend or Kodable Pro. It's easy to get stuck for a while on some levels, and no hints or clues are offered. Kids get as many chances as they need to be successful, though, and they'll learn from each failure.

Families can talk about...

  • Stress to kids that there's no penalty for trying and failing in Lightbot. If they want to find the best solution, they'll have to try, fail, and try again.

  • Talk to kids about what computer programmers create (and how it's changing the world). Share with them President Obama's encouraging words to kids about coding.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Subjects:Math: patterns, sequences
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: logic, problem solving, strategy, thinking critically
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:December 11, 2013
Category:Educational Games
Topics:High school
Size:30.00 MB
Publisher:Danny Yaroslavski
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later; Android 2.2 and up

This review of Lightbot - Programming Puzzles was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Fun programming logic for kids, great resources for parents.
  • Fun puzzler with programming skills; some crude humor.
  • Challenging puzzler teaches kids to think like programmers.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old January 1, 2014

Lightbot is a fun game that helps you learn how to make lines of code! :D

Lightbot was introduced to me in my 7th grade computer elective in the Computer Science Education Week website(known as Hour of Code). My sister and I love playing it on my birthday Samsung Tablet! Not only does Lightbot help you actually think, you are really learning how to make lines of code on a computer. It probably would be difficult to understand if you are eight years of age or lower, but in other words, this game is educational and puzzling and can become addicting.
What other families should know
Great messages
Safety and privacy concerns
Educator and Parent of a 6, 8, 11, 13, and 15 year old Written byabdrahman November 16, 2014

very engaging

I gave to all my kids (5) to try out this program for teaching them about concept of programming. Or atlest the game who ask them to think not just to play arround. and they love it and they can do it. Thanks alot to the developer
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Educator and Parent of a 3 year old Written bySinem_tunc August 23, 2016

Programming Game for kids

In a lesson which I used LightBot. I said "we are going to be playing a game called Lightbot. There is a robot and he lives in a world of square tiles. The goal in each level is for Lightbot to light up all the blue tiles in the level. However, Lightbot does not understand something as complicated as saying “light all the blue tiles”. Instead, he does understand a basic set of rules. This is a very pleasing way to get into or learn writing and thinking in code.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?