Australian Council on Children and the Media

Code Spark Academy - Code Spark

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Short takes

Code Spark Academy is a game designed to teach kids computer science and coding concepts. Players will need good short term memory, strategic and puzzle solving skills. Parental guidance may be needed for children 4 years and under due to the complexity of some puzzles.

Age
4
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8
9
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15

No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Code Spark Academy was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 November 2017.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Code Spark Academy
Developed by: Code Spark
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Paid
Developer’s suggested age: Rated 4+, Made for Ages 6–8.
ACCM suggested age: Suitable for children 5 years and up.
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Code Spark Academy contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

Played for several hours.

App description

This app teaches young children basic computer science skills through puzzles, tutorials and game play. In the “puzzle” section, players learn basic and advanced sequencing and looping by directing the main character through a series of problematic environments (e.g. to get to a donut, players must work out how to get to it, then “program” a sequence of movements by dragging the required movements into the sequence box and pressing on the character to set the whole sequence in motion). If the sequence is correct, the character will reach the destination successfully and progress to the next level or puzzle. “Looping” sets 2 or more movements on a loop so that you don’t have to manually reproduce the same sequence in repetition.

In “mini-games” children can learn about stacking, queuing, logic and automation in a similar process to the above. There is also a section called “game maker” where players can use the skills they’ve learned in the puzzle section to build their own games.

Reviewers comments

Code Spark Academy is user friendly and the real-time tutorials are easy to follow. Learning the basics of computer science isn’t the only benefit of this game – there are also many other benefits on a cognitive level. Sequencing works on good planning, working out patterns, short term memory, working memory and problem solving. The game building section requires creative thinking and the mini-games section requires good timing, sequencing and re-prioritizing. Furthermore, several sections within this game combine all of these elements simultaneously, which may be good for multi-tasking and co-ordinating. There are also “parents” and “teachers” sections which provide information on coding resources, the full curriculum (a free 10 lesson computer science curriculum that includes worksheets and answer keys, etc.), solutions guide, offline activities and how-to videos.

Free to download, but subscription is needed to play. Initial trial period is for 1 week and then it is charged at $9.99 per month.

In App purchasing

None.

Online information

  • Log ins
  • Connectivity with social media (this link is in the parents section which is adequately protected from children under 13 years of age).

Gambling

At the time of review, the reviewer found no simulated gambling content.  If you discover simulated gambling content in this app, please contact us with the details so we can update our review.

Advertising and product placement

None.

Gender stereo types and sexual references

None.

Coarse language

None.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

None.

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About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.