A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
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.
Parents Need to Know
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.
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