Children learning programming skills – or coding – is a big trend in schools and homes around the world in 2016.
Here in England, programming is now part of the national curriculum for children as young as five years old, while it’s becoming more common in the educational systems in other countries too.
Meanwhile, a number of parents are encouraging their kids to give programming a go, whether through coding clubs after school and at weekends, or with apps and websites that teach them early skills in the discipline.
Here’s another example: a new game called Box Island, which launched today for iPhone and iPad. It’s the work of developer Radiant Games.
It looks like a console action-adventure game, but as children play, they’ll be learning skills including algorithms, pattern recognition, sequences, loops and conditionals. All key concepts for programming.
There are 100 levels to work through, with the first 10 included in the free download of the game, and the rest unlocked by in-app purchases ($2.99 for 20 levels, $5.99 for 50 or $7.99 for all 90 of the non-free levels.)
Up to four children (or, indeed, children and parents) can have profiles in the game, working at their own pace through its programming puzzles.
Radiant Games is keen to stress that the game is aimed at both boys and girls – an important talking point, because some parents still think of programming as a boys’ club. That’s not the case here: the characters and world are designed to appeal to all children.
The company also hopes the game’s story will keep children interested as they play. We’re looking forward to finding out as our children get their teeth into the game in the days ahead.
Box Island is a free download for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store.
As a bonus, here’s a video of Radiant Games’ boss explaining why he thinks learning to code is very good for children: