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Little Red Coding Club

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Little Red Coding Club App Poster Image
Super simple story-based coding puzzles bogged down by AR.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Though kids are using some basic coding skills, the AR complicates the experience enough that we don't recommend this title for learning.

Ease of Play

There is no initial explanation of how to use the Augmented Reality, which is required to start. Kids also can't rotate the image without physically turning around with the device due to the AR. 

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know the Little Red Coding Club is an augmented reality-based (AR) coding game. When kids want to play, they will need to focus the camera on their device at a flat surface and tap the screen. There are no instructions for this, and it can be tricky if there are no surfaces nearby or lighting is dim. The two-player version of the game requires two devices on the same network. The basic instructions are verbal, but some menu choices require the ability to read. 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?

In LITTLE RED CODING CLUB, Little Red Riding Hood and her friend The Woodcutter try to make it through the woods, collecting food without bumping into the wolf. Kids can help them along by "coding" their progress through a series of arrow buttons. The Woodcutter also has the ability to chop down logs in his way. Kids can place one instruction arrow at a time or try to code the whole thing in one try. Arrows on the ground show kids where there arrows will lead. This is an augmented reality experience meaning that kids will need to use the camera to find a flat location nearby. Once the game recognizes a good location and kids tap the screen, the game board/building screen appears. Kids can zoom into the game board and move around it by moving their device. There are 10 main levels and 8 bonus levels, but they don't need to be completed in order. Kids can also design their own levels using objects from the main game. There's a multiplayer option for players who both own the app and whose devices are on the same network.

Is it any good?

While the idea seems compelling, unnecessary (and unwieldy) AR and a lack of any sort of challenge make this journey to Grandmother's house fairly dull. Little Red Coding Club begins with a mistake a lot of apps do: It uses augmented reality where it simply doesn't belong and doesn't allow you to by-pass it. Kids start the game with an icon of a device moving around. There's no instruction about what to do or why. Also, trying to zoom and pan using your entire device rather than touch-based controls may make sense in some gaming environments, but not a puzzler you're likely to do while curled up on the couch. And the AR doesn't add anything to the experience. Game play is simple, but the puzzles don't offer enough depth: There are obstacles, but they aren't all that concerning or difficult to avoid. Kids will definitely use some basic coding logic, but it doesn't get any more advanced than the commands forward, right, and left -- no looping, conditionals, or functions. The elements are there to make it interesting, but it doesn't go far enough. Kids may enjoy making their own levels, but it would be more engaging with additional elements to unlock. There are roughly 20 characters and elements to use (5 of them are different ground blocks), and it's just not enough to make it fun. Ultimately, Little Red Coding Club needs less glitz (AR) and a bit more substance.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about coding. How do the puzzles in Little Red Coding Club relate to coding? What happens if you choose a wrong step along the way in the game? What might happen with a wrong step in a computer program?

  • Families can talk about learning with apps. Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why or why not? What can you learn?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love coding and STEM

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