Title: Coding Awbie
Age Group: 5 – 7 years
Hours played by my kids: 20+
Available on: ipad (review), iphone, Fire
As a parent you want your kids to learn stuff while playing games. Osmo’s Coding with Awbie was one of those games that I wanted to get for my boys as soon as I found out about it. We all know that Coding is one of the Future skills that our kids will need and if we can help them learn about it at early age and in a fun way, that is a win-win situation, right?
Right! Kids will grow up in a world managed by computers and until a completely new way of communicating with Computers is figured out anyone who understands how coding languages work will benefit from it and will have an advantage against others. Well, I would assume AI will bring natural talk into it within 5-10 years so it might be a short lived advantage.
First Contact (with the game, not AI)
Being familiar with the OSMO games like Numbers or Words you will instantly know how to set up the game. For everyone else, the in-game instructions are visual and straightforward. No worries if you are not a techie yourself, your kid will figure it out himself.
The learning curve for kids is easy and new “commands” are introduced over time so even younger kids will get into it naturally. I was observing my 4y boy and he initially had some questions about the commands but in his second or third session he was on his own exploring the land with Awbie.
How does it work actually?
Coding is a simple process. You are required to know the rules, just like you have learned the rules of written language or math. The game does the same with coding rules, it introduces physical blocks with symbols on it. Symbol for walking, jumping and using hands. It will come naturally to your kid what to do with those. Then, it uses numbers and a few other symbols to teach them to multiply the steps and this way create more complex “codes”. It works great. The codes are then used to lead Awbie across the world avoiding obstacles, getting rewards.
Is it worth the hefty price tag?
Depends. You need to know your kid, what kid of games he will ignore. This one is unique in the skills it teaches but is not far away from the basic exploration games. It’s just an upgrade with those physical blocks and an extra layer of complexity as tapping with finger is not enough here.
My kid loves it, but it required my initial assistance to get into it. After a while though the game became less interesting to him as it added and added additional complexity without really bringing new content to him. It just became harder for him and lately he rather plays something else. Therefore my final judgement would depend on long term observation – will he return to the game later, when he becomes older, will he remember the logic of it and subconsciously integrate the principle in his thinking process. I think he will.
Jan’s comment on the game (age 4):
I like collecting strawberries. Sometime it’s hard to jump over the water and I need to ask papa for help. Awbie needs to get to the mountain, Mountain is sick!
Learn Coding with Awbie - $49
How good is it technically? - 10/10
Value for Money - 8.8/10
How deep is the rabbithole? - 9.2/10
How long kids love it? - 9.5/10
Can my kid to play it on his own? - 7.6/10
How much kids can learn from it? - 10/10
My thoughts on the game
So, does the game deliver? The short answer, yes, it does. Using the provided programming physical blocks my boy figured it out within an hour (age 4) and programming with these blocks gave him more satisfaction than tapping the screen in other games. He did complain about complexity initially, but that could be due to his age being below the recommended 5 years. BTW, not being an English speaker did not hinder his progress, game is universal!
That being said, I think it’s worth investing almost 50 $ for the game if you can afford it. I got the feeling the skills he learned while playing will help him develop for the things to come. Also, paying for the game will give you Ad-free environment and beautiful visuals with professional execution. Still, you will need to weed out for mandatory OSMO stand to play this game as it is not included in the package (40 $) unless you have it from Starter Kit package.
- Learn to code at young age! Unique on the market
- Visuals are amazing, kids love it.
- Physical blocks are a big plus
- Lots of content, can play for hours
- Relatively expensive to get started
- Initial steps need parents to help