Vroom! Vroom! – Drivers start your engines for Code Karts by Edoki Academy! Code Karts is a phenomenal new app for younger kids to experience race cars on a joyful ride through the preliminaries of coding. It has all the elements of fun for car crazy kids. Gameplay revolves around children setting the course through a maze placing directional tokens for cars to navigate to the finish line. They then test out their hypothesis; Is everything ready for the race? Ready, Set, GOOOOO! If you are successful, it’s time to hang-out and strut your stuff in Trophy City. If not (Oh My Goodness), it’s a “Wipe Out”. And ooo-Ouch that hurts because you must find the bugs in your logic. Everything about this app has solid research behind the gameplay and it is skillfully executed. Be forewarned – it’s addictive! The artwork is spot on and simple to help keep the focus on task. Sounds are relevant to gameplay and limited to environmental sounds from car racing. There are no extraneous tidbits of visual or auditory clutter within this app to distract kids from the goal.
Inside Code Karts
On opening, select the one player or two player mode. Let’s take a peek at the one player mode first. A course is laid out from a top down viewpoint which presents the racetrack as a whole. This sets kids up to begin to think sequentially and anticipate their moves to successfully direct their cars to the finish line. Kids then place directional tokens on a visual board to navigate the track. Every course begins at the beginning with the key starting the car and proceeding forward. Subtle prompts are given to navigate the track and then are faded, once directionality is established. Directions are selected by using arrows rather than labels which make this app perfect for older preschoolers. And let me tell you, the preschoolers that have played Code Karts love everything about it. The sound effects are spot on, and the graphics are kept simple to keep the focus on game play. Once the visual schedule is in place, tap the car and see how it does. Be careful, there are all sorts of funky obstacles to get around…speed enhancers, oil slicks, and even trampolines! High fives are a plenty and all around for a safe and successful drive.
With the multi car option, you are either going to sequence play for one car or the other as there is only one timeline to post the selectional directions. It’s pretty cool to see where the cars go based on initial projections and hypotheses. Many times, it’s all wrong, but that is one great learning experience – to go back in and tweak the moves and see what happens. There are 20 levels in the two car pairings, and 55 in the single car test track races. This is plenty for repeat and sustained play as kids can choose different options and see how they are played out.
I simply adore Edoki Academy. Every game they make is crafted from a child’s developmental perspective. They honor children by providing them the tools to think. And they trust children to be able to persist and change course as needed. Their apps are truly a gift to children. Thank you Edoki!