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Rox's Secret Code

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
Rox's Secret Code App Poster Image
Fun with code and planning skills brings robots to life.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids will explore basic coding principles and practice planning and sequencing skills.   

Ease of Play

Directions to drag the move action block to the code line may be a bit fuzzy for kids who are unfamiliar with code-specific terms. The directions are supported by a visual prompt that points to the code line; however, little ones my need clarity around dragging the move action blocks.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The launch page asks if the player owns the Rox’s Secret Code book. There is a link to purchase the book, but it's not necessary to enjoy the app.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parent need to know that Rox’s Secret Code allows kids to explore the basic principles of coding in order to bring robots to life in augmented reality (AR). The app compliments the book, Rox’s Secret Code, which is the story of a code whiz who originally creates a “Chorebot” to help her clean her room but is forced to readjust the code when the robot begins to act out on its own. Although the launch page asks if kids already own the book, purchasing it isn't necessary to enjoy the app. 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.     

User Reviews

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What's it about?

In ROX’S SECRET CODE kids design robots and bring them to life by applying the basic principles of coding. Under the build mode, kids can mix and match different heads, arms, torsos, and legs to create unique robots. They also have the option of naming their creation. In addition to designing and personalizing robots, kids can learn how code can be used to make the robot move. The coding skills in the learn mode are put into action in the play mode, where they drag the "move action" blocks, which include move, rotate, and grab, to the code line. Once kids complete the code line, they activate their robot and watch it follow their directions. Rox informs players when there's code missing or when the move action block does not match the robot’s path towards the finish line. The game becomes a bit more challenging, prompting for more move action blocks, when kids consistently code correctly. Players always have the option of taking a picture of the game or taking a selfie with the robot they've designed by pressing on the camera icon. The launch page presents the option of playing with the sound on or off and provides a link that connects players to the book Rox’s Secret Code on Amazon. 

Is it any good?

Kids will enjoy designing unique and colorful robots and using basic code to bring their creations to life, putting them on cleanup duty in their own bedroom or living room through AR. Rox’s Secret Code creates a personalized experience by superimposing the game onto the player’s real space. The graphics are colorful and appealing, and the camera feature that allows kids to take pictures of their favorite robot or the game itself is cool. . Because it starts simply, it allows even the most novice coder to engage in the fun. The degree of difficulty levels up, requiring more steps, as kids correctly sequence code to get the robot to the finish line. Without realizing it, kids are developing organization, planning, and sequencing skills, which transcend the world of code. It's possible kids may need a grown up to clarify directions, since they are not necessarily intuitive. Grown-ups may find the videos on the developer website useful if they need clarity around how to play the game. Overall, Rox’s Secret Code shares an empowering message that celebrates innovation, creativity, and problem solving. The option of pairing the app with a book is an added perk!   

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about planning ahead and sequencing when playing Rox’s Secret Code. The game requires that kids determine how to sequence the move action blocks to get the robot to move through the room and pick up the mess. It’s an opportunity to reinforce sequencing terms, such as first, then, next, and finally.  

  • Talk about skills like problem solving and perseverance. When code is missing, the game prompts kids to try again. Why is it important to try again? What might you do if you get frustrated when trying to figure out the correct sequence of the move action blocks? 

App details

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For kids who love coding and STEM

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