App review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2022
Box Island - Award Winning Coding Adventure
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Box Island - Award Winning Coding Adventure

Small, neat package of puzzles purposely designed for an Hour of Code

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Privacy rating
35%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
2–6
Subjects & Skills
Critical Thinking
Great for

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Pros: Clear progression of challenges nicely lays out the basics.

Cons: Free version includes limited levels and prominent paywall; no feedback when students struggle.

Bottom Line: This is a great collection of puzzles for an Hour of Code activity; any further use will need an in-app purchase.

The free version of Box Island - Award Winning Coding Adventure includes a limited number of puzzles before users run into a big paywall. But if students choose to use the Hour of Code activity, they'll get 20 levels that gradually introduce basic concepts such as algorithms, sequences, loops, and conditionals. As the name suggests, the idea is that students play for one hour and come away with a basic foundation, though teachers could clearly have students visit the levels in several smaller chunks of time. If students are just starting out, they can play in pairs or small groups. This version, which has levels kids can access for free, allows for only one profile. Box Island for Schools accommodates four profiles, but there's no content for free. There's a lesson plan, a curriculum guide, and an answer key on the developer's website, all of which could be helpful resources for teachers looking to build a coding learning unit.

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Overall Rating

Engagement

A story helps bring meaning to the coding puzzles. Vivid graphics and fun obstacles should keep students interested.

Pedagogy

Students learn coding basics through trial and error. Leveled puzzles gradually introduce new concepts.

Support

There's minimal explicit information about new concepts and no help when students have trouble passing a level. A teacher's guide helps round out outside the app. 


Common Sense reviewer
Mieke VanderBorght Researcher

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Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users.
Personal information can be displayed publicly.
Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
Data Rights
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Users can create or upload content.
Processes to access or review user data are available.
Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.
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Unclear whether personal information are shared for third-party marketing.
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