Pixel Press Floors

App review by
Megan Leppla, Common Sense Media
Pixel Press Floors App Poster Image
Ingenious creation tool turns kids' drawings into games.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn basic design concepts as they create their own game in Pixel Press Floors. They'll learn a simple coding language made of "glyphs," drawn shapes that translate into game objects such as coins or blocks. Playing other kids' games and sharing their own can give kids fresh ideas and allow them to improve. Pixel Press Floors gives kids a real hands-on design experience, turning a paper drawing into a playable game. 

Ease of Play

How-to videos are helpful but some may have trouble finding them.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know thatPixel Press Floors teaches basic design concepts by letting kids create their own games. By drawing predefined shapes called “glyphs," kids create blueprints for their game that can be tested, designed, played, and shared with a global community in the arcade. If individual devices aren't available, multiple accounts can be created on a single device. Kids can take turns creating their own games and challenge one another with their game creations. For game-loving kids, this is a great resource to get them thinking about how it all works.

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What's it about?

PIXEL PRESS FLOORS gives kids the tools to create and customize their own video games, bringing their ideas to life and allowing them to share their creations with a global community. Getting started is as simple as drawing out ideas with pencil and paper, which kids are encouraged to do in real life. Kids then can take photos of their drawings and upload them to the app, then continue designing levels and challenges. Kids will need to play by the rules (stay on the lines, use a ruler, and use existing "glyph" language), but it's still pretty incredible how customizable the experience can be while they stay within these parameters. Plus, the connection between analog and digital makes creating your own game feel pretty magical. Not feeling up to the task of creating a game from scratch? The arcade is full of games from other kids. You also can test out your game and make changes before sharing it with other gamers in the arcade.

Is it any good?

Although the app doesn't lump itself into the education category, there are plenty of opportunities for learning. Kids quickly find that there's a lot to consider when laying out floors, distributing points, and building lava pits. They have to ask questions and make predictions as they draw out the game blueprints. After uploading the drawing, they can test the game, see what works and what doesn't, and then make revisions for the next version. By creating their own problems to solve, kids will learn a lot along the way, and the games themselves end up looking great. Kids may want to get extra guidance, however, as a few how-to-get-started videos are all the instruction offered. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about game design. What would it be like to design games for a living? Is it more fun to play? 

  • Families can talk about creativity. How do you find ideas for things like games and stories? 

App details

For kids who love creating

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