App review by Caryn Lix, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2014
Code Fred: Survival Mode

Code Fred: Survival Mode

Fight or flight biology charmingly explored from the inside out

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 2 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
6–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Science, Health & Wellness

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Pros: Engaging experience makes sense of human biology.

Cons: Some games require a bit too much experimentation to figure out.

Bottom Line: A unique tool biology teachers can use to introduce the body's chemical processes.

Code Fred would be an excellent introduction to a unit of study on how the body functions. Teachers could begin by asking students to brainstorm ways their bodies respond in emergencies, and then see how many of their responses are included in the game. The game would also make an effective pretest review. You might also encourage students to choose one of the body processes discussed in the game and learn more about it, creating posters mirroring the game's style (a large circle showing what's happening inside the body with an arrow pointing to the individual's situation).

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Fred's having a lousy night. He's out camping with his dad when an angry wolf starts chasing him through the woods. As Fred's body, it's your job to get him back to the campsite alive. You do this by helping his body provide the necessary chemical reactions. For example, you might trigger a burst of adrenaline from Fred's eye to his heart to his liver. Later, when his leg starts gushing blood, you frantically restrict capillaries to slow blood loss. Complete all these tasks and you'll get Fred safely back to the campfire. Fail, and Fred's body becomes "one with nature." It should be noted that, although nothing is too graphic, Fred's leg does spurt blood at one point, which may upset sensitive students.

Although there isn't a lot to this game -- it can be played in a single classroom period -- it provides an excellent introduction to, or review of, the body's processes. For many students, the basic connection between Fred's internal and external workings will become much clearer through playing this game. Some students may find the experience frustrating -- there aren't always clear instructions on how to accomplish the goal for each task -- so some extra instruction and repeating certain tasks will help students remember the process more clearly. A post-game discussion will also help students to recall what they may have forgotten amidst any particularly frantic play.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

The slick visual style and a comic irreverence means students will enjoy saving Fred.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Covers a number of biological processes in an accessible way that will make sense to most students, but requires some post-game reflection to let learning sink in.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

There's instructions, but sometimes requires too much trial and error to figure out how individual mini-games work. A bit more textual explanation would help.


Common Sense reviewer
Caryn Lix Classroom teacher

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Kelly F. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Rancho Buena Vista High School
Vista, United States
Fun way to apply human body systems
If I could improve the game, I would include an information session between each of the levels. Students could click on information and learn more about the systems involved in the game. Students did enjoy the game and had fun in class. It was a good computer game to connect information to real life scenarios.
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