A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Though it's intended for learning and has potential, it's unlikely kids will learn the intended skills of logical thinking and early coding.
Ease of Play
Very little explanation, from the moment you enter this app, of what you are supposed to do and how you should do it. Introductory message doesn't always play, is difficult to understand, and is hard to hear over the background music that starts when the app is loaded. Two trays slide down from the top and from the right, but they conflict with the iPad trays that also slide in from those directions. There's a help button, if you can find it in the top tray, but the help is often too vague to be useful. The instructions say you can double-tap on any item to find out what it does, but double-tapping doesn't work. The app also crashes regularly.
Parents Need to Know
Is It Any Good?
The idea of learning programming logic from trains is fun, but the result is confusing and frustrating. Trains Project Home Edition seems like an unfinished, untested product. From the moment you open the app, there's trouble. The introductory tutorial information is drowned out by loud background music. It's hard to figure out where to get started or even how to open a sandbox or challenge. Once you're there, it's tricky to figure out how to get to the train parts. There's no way to know what half of the cars do without randomly attaching them to trains, the icons are consistently confusing (none of them are industry standards), and it seems that the only way to get anywhere is to tap and swipe randomly until something interesting happens. When you get into the showcase area and load an example, you can see the promise there. One sample game is a pool simulation, and another mimics the Angry Birds franchise. If the interface and instructions were more clear and worked as intended, you can imagine how kids might be inspired to create something fun. As it stands, all they're likely to get is irritated.
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