A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn about some underlying concepts that support coding as they use a set of commands, problem-solve, and evaluate to figure out which to use to reach a goal. The number games also get kids recognizing and identifying numbers up to 10 by quantity, numeral, and spelled-out number name, as well as counting in order.
Ease of Play
Audio instructions aren't sufficiently clear or complete; kids just starting out may need extra help to figure out what they're supposed to do.
Products & Purchases
Small icon on the home page takes users to other apps from the same developer. Users must pass through a parent gate to access the purchase page.
Parents Need to Know
Is It Any Good?
Things start out slowly but get more exciting as kids level up and program complicated paths to lead Code-a-pillar to its target. Overall, Think & Learn Code-a-pillar is very complex and rich for a free app, but there are a few drawbacks. The early levels are not explained fully or well, so parents may need to help kids plug through to get to higher levels, where the app starts to shine a bit brighter. Even on higher levels, however, there remain a few issues that could cause confusion, such as commands that don't match the true direction that Code-a-pillar needs to travel (e.g., the "straight" command points up, but going straight can sometimes mean moving to the right, left, or down). The leaf-feeding interludes don't tie in smoothly to the coding, though they get more challenging as kids level up. And that techno electronica music soundtrack will be exciting and fun for some but annoying for others, so it's great that it can be turned off on the home screen. For little kids, this is a cute coding activity that doesn't carry any of the pitfalls of so many free apps.
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