A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
To begin SCREENPLAY -- PROGRAM YOUR STORY, choose the first "movie" entitled The Lost Code by tapping the poster. Tap on 1 for the first scene, and then locate the starred square where the director wants your character to stand. Tap the right- or left-turn arrow or the footprint (walking forward) the appropriate number of times to move the character to the starred square. Tap the director and your character when you have your sequence "programmed," and you're ready to move. Watch the character move -- either correctly to the starred square or incorrectly. If you did the completed actions correctly, you'll move onto the next scene/puzzle. If not, you can try again or start all over. Some highlighted clues appear. Tap the pause icon for two options: Play or Go Back.
Is it any good?
The movie theme/puzzle game format on this app is a novel way to get kids interested in coding concepts. ScreenPlay -- program your story is so engaging that players can get sucked into moving from scene to scene to see what will appear next and what new challenge they'll be asked to complete. The titles are clever (The Lost Code, Compilerman, and more), and the actor and director characters are cute. More tutorials or verbal instruction could be useful for kids entirely new to the concepts used in coding. Overall, though, this app is easy to use and a fun way to learn.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of learning to code with fun games such as ScreenPlay -- program your story. How is coding like another language? What can you do if you know how to code?
Talk about your character's abstract movements on the screen in concrete terms. Especially for younger users of this app, reinforcing how to turn left and right, move forward and backward, and move up and down, for example, will be important to set them up for success.
Find natural stopping points to end play since it's easy to move from one challenge to the next without stopping.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, solving puzzles
Tech Skills: coding
- Price: $0.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: February 21, 2017
- Category: Education
- Size: 86.70 MB
- Publisher: Barbara Kudiess
- Version: 1.0.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later
For kids who love coding and STEM
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.