Australian Council on Children and the Media

Lightbot: Code Hour - SpriteBox LLC

app image

Short takes

An engaging introduction to coding for young children. Players solve puzzles using clearly explained coding commands that progress in difficulty. Parent caution: contains an easily accessible link to further related internet sites that offer the choice to share via social media.

Age
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15

No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Lightbot: Code Hour was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 June 2019.

About the app

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

Name of app: Lightbot: Code Hour
Developed by: SpriteBox LLC
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: 4+
ACCM suggested age: Parental Guidance recommended up to age 13 due to easy access to internet and social media.
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Lightbot: Code Hour contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

All levels were played by the reviewer and all elements of the game were explored.

App description

Lightbot: Code Hour is an educational game in which the player learns commands/codes in order to direct the actions of an animated robot avatar with the aim to solve a puzzle. There is a choice of a blue or pink robot. The commands direct the robot to walk, jump, or light a square up. Each puzzle requires the player to light up a number of marked squares using a limited number of commands to direct the robot. With increasingly complex combinations of codes and limited space to express the commands, the player learns to be economical with their puzzle solution through applying coding shortcuts and loops. All new coding content is simply explained in very achievable steps. The final puzzles in level 2 and 3 are more challenging. The game provides four individual save spots so that up to four players can play from the start without interference or assistance from the others’ game play.

Reviewers comments

Lightbot: Code Hour’s measured pace for introducing new information means it is a very accessible game, though a co-player may be needed to assist children (up to eight years) to comprehend what is required to complete a puzzle. The more complex commands, including for example; grouping commands and looping, introduce concepts that are both applicable to coding and general mathematics. The current reviewer found the final puzzle quite challenging - but satisfying to complete.

The Developers’ notes clearly state there are no in-app purchases in the game and the reviewer found this to be so, but there are links that take the user out of the game and to sites that require personal information (see Online Information). There were no parental blocks or codes protecting players from accessing the internet. Parents should note that this game is able to be played entirely without access to the internet, so by disabling the internet access on your device, parents can eliminate this issue.

In App purchasing

There is no In-App purchasing in this game.

Online information

It is important to note that from the menu page it is easy to scroll beyond the game levels to two icons that will take the player out of the game and open pages on the internet. One of these icons leads to the code.org website and offers players a certificate of completion that requires the player’s name. This certificate can be shared via Facebook and Twitter and can be printed. Below the certificate on the link page, advertisements for further educational material relating to computer science education were present, where options to ‘sign in’ or ‘create an account’ were made available. A child could select the sign in via Facebook/Google/Microsoft link - however, there may be little incentive to keep searching for younger players. 

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

There is no advertising or product placement in this game.

Gender stereo types and sexual references

None noted.

Coarse language

None noted.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

None noted.

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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.

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