News: Snoopy Snow Brawl Will Teach You How To Code

Sharing this press release with you:

The free game will be featured during Computer Science Education Week’s Hour of Code initiative from December 4 -10th 

PASADENA, Calif., Nov. 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — codeSpark Academy, the award-winning computer science education platform for kids ages 5 to 10, is teaming up with one of the world’s most beloved kids’ brands, Peanuts, to release today, Snoopy Snow Brawl, a free-to-play game that introduces little learners to fundamental computer science and coding concepts.

 Snoopy Snow Brawl ignites a passion for programming through a fun game with recognizable and lovable Peanuts characters. The multi-player coding game encourages young kids to use problem solving, strategy and algorithms in a snowball fight between Woodstock and his bird friends that Snoopy referees.

Kid coders can engage in silly battles with or against friends, or against the computer, in either one-on-one or two–on-two challenges.? Other features and functionality include:

●      A warm, engaging and familiar Peanuts experience

●      Interactive puzzles

●      Step-by-step tutorial

●      Word-free block based programming

●      Four different stages for learners at every level

●      Authentic Peanuts music and voices

●      A game that is a perfect match for the holiday season and the annual excitement around A Charlie Brown Christmas

“We are so honored to have been asked to create a new category of coding game with one of the world’s most-loved brands,” said Grant Hosford, Co-founder and CEO of codeSpark Academy. “The rich legacy of the Peanuts gang inspires our team and with Snoopy Snow Brawlwe believe we’ve created a learn-to-code game for youngsters that lives up to the brilliance of Charles M. Schulz and encourages a lifetime love of learning.”

The game focuses on the concept of sequencing and allows players to practice their coding skills in a variety of silly and fun ways. Research has shown that after just three sessions with codeSpark Academy, kids score 22% higher on sequencing tests.? Skill with sequencing has a direct and positive correlation with improved math and reading scores. 

Coding also requires kids to think critically and creatively when solving problems. Snoopy Snow Brawl increases access to quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning opportunities for K-5 students and is a featured activity in code.org’s Hour of Code initiative during Computer Science Education Week from December 4-10, 2017. Over 150 million kids in more than 180 countries have participated in Hour of Code since it was launched in 2013.

“codeSpark has demonstrated great care in bringing the Peanuts gang to a new audience of young coders while developing Snoopy Snow Brawl,” said Roz Nowicki, Executive Vice President of Peanuts Worldwide. “Being able to collaborate with them during Hour of Code is a great opportunity to share the joy of Peanuts, along with the critical tools of programming and STEM skills, with this younger generation.”

“Engaging kids during the Hour of Code can give them a sense of confidence and delight, breaking down stereotypes associated with Computer Science,” said Hadi Partovi, Founder and CEO of Code.org. “With Snoopy Snow Brawl, codeSpark has created a fun learning experience that has the potential to inspire a love of computer science.” 

Snoopy Snow Brawl is playable for everyone until January 15, 2018. ?Parents and public schools can download the codeSpark Academy app, which includes Snoopy Snow Brawl, for free. Teachers who complete the free registration will also receive a 20-hour curriculum and other supporting materials. To date, codeSpark Academy has been used by 20 million students worldwide in over 200 countries.

Snoopy Snow Brawl is available in the codeSpark Academy app on iOS, Android and on the Web at www.thefoos.com/hourofcode and you can check out the tutorial video here.

 

About codeSpark Academy:

Headquartered in Pasadena, codeSpark Academy is an award-winning computer science education platform for kids 5 to 10 years old. The app turns programming into play with a mix of curriculum based lessons, powerful creative tools and lovable characters called Foos. codeSpark Academy is the most used coding app for young kids and is played by millions in over 200 countries. Co-­founders Grant Hosford and Joe Shochet are dads and serial entrepreneurs who’ve built world-class mobile products for leading companies like Disney, Idealab, and eHarmony.

About Peanuts Worldwide:

The PEANUTS characters and related intellectual property are owned by Peanuts Worldwide, a subsidiary controlled by DHX Media and the family of Charles M. Schulz.

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Neko Atsume – Kitty Collector 

What do you do when you have two fluffy cats in real life but can’t handle taking care of more?

one of my cats in real life


 Well, download Neko Atsume, of course!

The game has been around since 2014 (and updated recently in September) but I only discovered it recently while in the car with my husband’s niece. She told me she was busy waiting for Tubbs (the fat white cat on the lower left) to come  when I found myself watching her “yard” with interest.

She identified each cat by name, and showed me how to “attract” feline visitors to the yard.

“You can’t own the cats,” she said, “but you can take a picture of them.” That, ladies and gentlemen, is Neko Atsume Kitty Collector as explained by a very smart 10-year old named Pia.

Cats are odd little independent creatures who prefer a coolly distant relationship with their human friends. They will wander into your yard if you have food and toys. They will stay a while and then leave with parting gifts (cats don’t do that in real life unless if it’s to gift you with a dead mouse).


The gold and silver fish on the lower left represent currency to buy all sorts of food and toys to attract cats to your yard. (Cue that one hit wonder, 2003 Kelis song if you still remember … My cake box brings all the cats to the yard …)  

You can collect money  from gifts from cats or if you buy gold fish (fancier stuff) using real money.

The next challenge (a very mild one) is finding which toys and food will attract rare and not so rare cats to your yard. In real life, though, boxes often do the trick!

These cats come in different colors and patterns as well as a variety of purrsonalities.  Not sure if there’s more to it than that, or if the kitty bio can help us figure out how to attract rare types.  

purrsonality


And the photos:


The great thing about this app is that unlike other free to play games with timers and the like, where you have to constantly monitor the game for freebies, you can enjoy Neko Atsume offline. In fact, the app  recommends that you suspend or reopen it to refresh and check on your yard. In other words, no need to watch it like a hawk. You can have a life outside of your phone.

Some minor inconveniences in the user interface aside, this cute game is for kids and busy people who want a fun, no strings attached kind of gaming relationship with their phone.

Happy collecting!

p.s. If you love cats, check out my cat’s Facebook page – BB the ragdoll cat 🐱

Rating: 4.5/5

Download: Neko Atsume – Kitty Collector

Price: FREE (with in app purchases) 


appSIZED is ba-ack!

Apologies for the unexplained hiatus.

The founder, Editor-in-Chief and Girl Friday of this solo-driven app reviews site got married in November in Buenos Aires and has been busy ever since.

Rest assured that the gamer in her is still alive and kicking, and in fact, a mini version is also on the way.

As always, the format and way of presenting app reviews is a constant challenge to this solo reviewer but I hope to share with you the apps and games I’m into these days.

Also, the unique new offering of Apple, Test Flight, has enabled me to check out beta versions of games in development. Feel free to include this reviewer in your pool of testers!

Thanks for your patience and I look forward to more appventures with you!

Have a great week ahead!

Enuh

Sale Alert! Azkend 2 HD is FREE this weekend!

 

From the guys at 10tonsltd, known for Miriel the Magical Merchant and Heroes of KalevalaAzkend 2 HD, the sequel to their popular match three adventure Azkend is FREE this weekend. The iphone version is free, too.
I haven't played this game yet but I hope to review it soon. I do know that if it's from 10tonsltd, it must be good!
Enjoy!
 
Download links:
For iPad – Azkend 2 HD
For iPhone – Azkend 2
 
 

 

Now Playing: Appointment with F.E.A.R. on iPhone and iPad

 

If you are a comic book fan and a gamebook fan, then Appointment With F.E.A.R. is right up your alley. This classic gamebook written by Steve Jackson is Tin Man Games' latest outing and adapts for the iOS the mechanics of a classic gamebook with an interesting new twist.

Appointment With F.E.A.R. parodies many familiar comic book heroes, villains and locales. As the main hero of Titan City, your job is to keep the city safe from an assorted lot of evildoers and thugs. Mainly, however, your mission is to prevent the meeting of F.E.A.R., a powerful organization of baddies, from taking place. Without much clues and only three days to do it, the challenge is to do the superhero stuff and be a detective at the same time. Oh, and as in typical super hero stories, your superhero identiy is a secret and you are a meek newspaper reporter by day (Clark Kent? Peter Parker?) with a mean boss.

Continue reading

Now Playing: Valiant Hearts – The Great War for iPhone and iPad

It is 1914 and you are in the middle of World War I. You are an ordinary soldier, thrust into the power struggle between great European countries, to serve as fodder for protracted battles on the ground.

The App Store's Editor's Choice of the week Valiant Hearts: The Great War relives the confusion and nightmare of the war, told through the eyes of ordinary folks called upon to serve their country. Just as war, in its broadest sense, is just the game of the generals, it is ironic to see the game make out of a high stakes 'game' that cost lives.

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FREE for a limited time: Heroes of Kalevala and Unstoppable Gorg for iPad

Just wanted to give you guys a heads up that two excellent games are FREE this weekend. These are old favorites of mine and have stunning graphics and solid gameplay.

Heoes of Kalevala is not your typical match three game – it is in fact, one of the very best out there. It comes with a story culled from Finnish mythology featuring eight (8) distinct heroes and a village building mechanic, keeping you hooked on finishing levels to populate your village. It landed in appSIZED's list of Top 10 Games and Apps for 2010 together with 10tonsltd's other game Miriel's Enchanted Mystery.
Link: Heroes of Kalevala HD (for iPad)
Developer: 10tonsltd
 
Unstoppable Gorg is a one of a kind tower defense game with loads of personality and a really tough learning curve. What's nice about its is that you rotate your towers along a certain path to fend off incoming enemies from all sides. It's pretty tough. In between you have B-movie black and white clips that perfectly capture the retro sci fi vibe of the 1950s. In 2012, it was selected by appSIZED as one of its Top 10 games for the year.
 
Developer: Futuremark Oy
 
Enjoy!

 

Now Playing: Sentinel 4 – Dark Star for iPhone and iPad

It's been a while since indie developer Origin8 came out with a sequel to their award-winning tower defense (TD) series, Sentinel. However, Sentinel should be familiar to those who've been gaming on the iPhone and during the time when tower defense games were just starting to shine. With a long absence from the TD scene, does Sentinel 4 – Dark World measure up to the TD games that have come out since its hiatus?

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Review: Hanx Writer for iPad

 

 

Hanx Writer for iPad may seem like a quaint idea to most, but for those e who grew up with a manual typewriter long before Microsoft Word became a household name, Hanx Writer brings back memories and then some. The app, incidentally, was commissioned and endorsed by no less than award-winning actor Tom Hanks who is a typewriter fanatic.

 

Back then, typing was a challenging and frustrating experience. You needed to be extra careful when typing things – how soft or how hard you bang the keys means the difference between a smooth looking typewritten page and a page with out of place keys or smudged letters.

I can go on all day about the perils and terrors of typewriter ribbons gone threadbare and paper incorrectly inserted, but I'm not here to wax poetic about a bygone era, I'm here to talk about how Hanx Writer fares as a throwback app and as a notetaking/mini word processor.

The fun part about having a 'pretend' typewriter like Hanx Writer is that you get to enjoy the perks of typing manually without the corresponding headaches. The fun part of typing then was hearing the clickety clack of keys and watching words being hammered out on the page with a couple of quick strokes – the less than fun part was dealing with jammed keys, smudged letters and uneven typing. Nowadays, typing with a keyboard is a muted experience while a touchscreen computer is almost silent.

For a free app, you get to enjoy the experience of typing on a 'pretend' typewriter, complete with the clicking sound of the individual keys as you type and the ringing sound when you've reached the end of the line and have to move to the next. For the full-blown typing experience, you can even turn off the 'modern' way of correcting mistakes (read: backspace). However, it would also be nice to see keys a bit out of place just like what I was used to when I typed too hard. For select upgrades, you can try out new typewriter themes or styles or just get the entire pack for $5, which includes more ribbon colors, justify alignment, a title page with the option to put a picture, etc.

Hanx Writer makes typing on the touchscreen keyboard fun, but I've tried pairing the app with my trusty bluetooth keyboard and the experience has been seamless.

My only gripe with the app is that sharing options are limited. For now, you can only “share” or export your work in PDF, which you can of course open in other apps such as Goodreader and other PDF readers. It would be nice, however, to have other file saving options such as .txt or .rtf formats.

For a free app that you can straightaway enjoy without shelling out real money for in app purchases (IAP), Hanx Writer is a fun and engaging typing experience that is more than just a trip down memory lane. I can envision it to be my default writing app just to get those creative juices flowing. Check out the report below:

appSIZED rating: 5 out of 5

App: Hanx Writer for iPad

Link: Hanx Writer for iPad

Compatibility: iPad only

Price: FREE

Ver.: 1.0

Developer/Publisher: HitCents, Inc.

 

 

Now Playing: Guardians of the Galaxy – The Universal Weapon

Marvel Studios' latest flick, the amazingly good Guardians of the Galaxy movie is now out in theaters and enjoying critical and popular acclaim. The iOS game, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon, on the other hand, was released a few weeks prior to the movie's launch and is currently on sale for a limited time to celebrate the film's opening weekend. Featuring a funny, ragtag group of space not so do-gooders straight out of a Marvel comic book, the real challenge of GOTG: The Universal Weapon is to be just as good as the movie. Check out the review after the break!