Parents' Guide to

Trains Project Home Edition

By Christy Matte, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Confusion reigns in this would-be logic app for kids.

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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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