Thinkrolls Play & Code

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
Thinkrolls Play & Code App Poster Image
Delightful puzzles inspire innovation and problem-solving.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The app promotes logic and problem-solving through puzzles. It introduces little ones to some elements of coding logic and encourages creativity by allowing kids to design their very own Thinkrolls. The overall experience fosters flexible thinking, memory, planning, and persistence. 

Ease of Play

The app is designed to be intuitive. It intentionally lacks tons of directions because problem solving is at the core of the design. Under settings, grown-ups can opt for the Help Monster to appear during the experience. The Help Monster provides guidance and hints when tapped. Kids also have the option to choose between basic, easy, or hard puzzles. Brain games progressively level up as kids demonstrate success.  

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The app is free, but in-app subscription purchase is required to enjoy all features and game options, and the locked options are visible to kids.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Thinkrolls Play & Code is an educational app that's part of the Thinkrolls app series. The app offers a collection of logic puzzles, brain games, and introduces little kids to some elements of coding logic, though there's no actual programming. Kids can tap on the Help Monster for hints and guidance on how to play. Parents have the option of turning off the Help Monster all together to push problem-solving and trial and error. Kids can choose from basic, easy, or hard logic puzzles and the adaptive brain games get progressively more difficult as little ones demonstrate success. This feature makes the app inviting and will keep kids engaged as their ability level grows. In addition to problem-solving, the experience also fosters logic, strategic planning, innovation, and memory. It also encourages important habits of mind, including patience, grit, flexibility, and confidence. Parents can set up accounts for up to six different players. The free version grants access to a limited portion of the app, and the locked features are visible to kids. They're also necessary to create more complex puzzles. 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.

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What's it about?

THINKROLLS PLAY & CODE has four different components. Under Home Sweet Home, kids will activate their creativity to build their own ready-to-play Thinkrolls. They'll be able to customize their characters with a variety of body designs, hair styles, accessories, and more. The Arcade Puzzles require kids to implement reasoning and problem-solving skills to navigate a collection of mazes. They'll have to think strategically and plan ahead. Under Code Your Own, little ones can build their own puzzles, which involves some elements of coding logic. Kids can choose from a series of backgrounds, earth blocks, or interactive objects to drag and drop into their puzzles. Tapping on the play button allows kids to play their own game, which can be edited at any point or saved for future play. There are seven different Brain Games for kids to explore; Find the Odd One Out, Now You See Me, Spot the Difference, Memory, Space Up, Hide and Seek, and Pop the Balloon. 

Is it any good?

Kids will enjoy problem-solving and creating puzzles without even realizing how much they're learning! The four different components promote a range of thinking skills, such as logic, and innovation. It also encourages important habits of mind, such as persistence, resilience, and flexibility. The Help Monster gives just enough guidance without compromising the intentionality behind the app's design. Parents will appreciate having control over when kids can access help during the experience. Since the app accommodates up to six players, parents can also customize settings for each player in order to target their learning needs.

The range in puzzle levels and the adaptive brain games will continue to challenge little ones as they grow. The design of the app focuses on the learning experience rather than winning or beating a best score. Kids can test their ideas over and over, which reinforces the trial-and-error learning strategy. In addition, the app implements a reward system where kids can win trophies for completing daily challenges. Though there's no block coding or actual programming, the process of puzzle creation involves a bit of coding logic, though some parents might be looking for more traditional block coding, like Scratch. And building your own puzzle isn't easy without the locked items, so if kids love that feature, it'll likely require the  subscription. Overall, Thinkrolls Play & Code is a delightful app that will captivate and continuously challenge kids, encouraging them to think outside the box.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about different habits of mind when playing Thinkroll Play & Code. Bring awareness to perseverance and resilience. What might you do when you feel stuck? What might you do when you feel frustrated?

  • Talk about what trial and error looks like and why it's an important part of learning. The Help Monster provides some hints when turned on in settings, but the app is designed for kids to figure out on their own. 

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Math: patterns
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, hypothesis-testing, logic, memorization, problem solving, solving puzzles, strategy, thinking critically
    Creativity: developing novel solutions, imagination, innovation, making new creations
    Tech Skills: coding, digital creation
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (offers in-app purchase options starting at $6.99 for monthly subscription or $46.99 for annual subscription)
  • Release date: December 3, 2020
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: STEM
  • Size: 243.20 MB
  • Publisher: AVOKIDDO
  • Version: 1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 12.0 or later
  • Last updated: January 20, 2021

Our editors recommend

For kids who love problem solving and puzzles

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