Sunday, April 26, 2015

Lightbox Game for Windows Review

The other day I was searching for some coding games to let my kids try them out.  Currently they are addicted to Minecraft.  I was looking for something new that they could try on the computer and try and stimulate their brains to think.

Lightbox reminded me of Robot Turtles which I bought I believe two Christmas's ago for my kids, and they love that game.  I like that Lightbox is on the computer and the girls can see quickly if they made a mistake and then try new things.

And there are different levels to the game.  In Robot Turtles  I broke it down to levels but the way LightBox does it I think it makes it easier on me for explaining.  Robot Turtles I would have to explain what a program was and how to run it.

In Lightbox they can test and run, test and run, till they figure it out.  And if they do not understand it then I can lend a hand.  My oldest daughter got up to Level 3, while my youngest is currently at Level 2.

Each level has about 8 stages, with Level 1 basic commands like: Forward, Light, Turn left, Turn Right, and eventually Jump.  Level two they add the PROC command which to me is like a sub-routine you can run in your main command. This will give you the ability to have an additional 8 commands.   I used the PROC command for routine repeated commands (which I gather that was what it was for).  On average it would save a few "lines" of code in the main routine.

In Level 3 you get the PROC 2, which enables looping of the PROC 1/PROC 2, and adds another 8 commands to your chain.

Overall I think the game is a great tool for kids to learn function, routines, and problem solving.  The controls are basic and easy to use that even my youngest was able to start right up.   The game was built using flash.  The game was built during the Hour of Code event.

Additionally on their website you can sign up for an alpha of a new programming game being built.