A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
SPRITEBOX CODING brings kids on a journey to find all the parts necessary to build a spaceship. They begin by designing their avatar, choosing the gender, skin color, and clothing. Then they set off, collecting stars along the way. Kids will quickly hit a roadblock on their journey and will need to clear the way with help from Sprite, a robot. Sprite is happy to do some of the heavy lifting, but he needs clear instructions on what to do. Early on in the game, Sprite uses pictograms for coding, such as a boxing glove to punch, a foot to walk, and a spring to jump. As the journey progresses, the code gets more complex, adding in loops (and nested loops), functions, and procedures. Eventually the pictograms give way to text commands. By the end, kids are using actual code to complete the puzzles. There are 70 puzzles to solve, and they get increasingly complex. Along the path, kids meet various characters who need their help in exchange for the spaceship pieces.
Is it any good?
It's refreshing to see a fun coding app for kids that teaches actual code and not just logic concepts. SpriteBox Coding uses a format that Super Mario fans will find familiar and comfortable (platform gaming) but integrates a series of increasingly complex coding puzzles for them to work past. The only flaw is that there are no hints or help available, so kids who don't understand the newest concept/available code may get stuck. Solving the puzzles is challenging but can also be tedious on occasion, especially as the puzzles become more complex. While there's a storyline, it's not terribly deep, and kids will likely enjoy watching it unfold as they gather their spaceship parts. Ultimately, it's a creative introduction to actual coding and may serve as a platform for kids who want to know more.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about coding in SpriteBox Coding and in general. What is coding? What's it used for? Do you think it is something you would like to do as a career? Why or why not?
How do you like this app as compared with other apps you could play? If you had or have limited screen time, would you pick this app over other apps on your device? Why, or why not?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: hypothesis-testing, logic, solving puzzles
Tech Skills: coding, using and applying technology
- Pricing structure: Paid ($2.99 iOS, $3.99 Android)
- Release date: November 17, 2017
- Category: Education
- Topics: Adventures
- Size: 170.00 MB
- Publisher: LightBot Inc.
- Version: 1.0.5
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8 or later; Android 2.3 and up
Themes & Topics
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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.