Run Marco! is a free game that serves to introduce the young children in to the world of programming.
Programming can be seen as something difficult and complicated, but learning the basic concepts of coding is something that can be simple and fun. Small children can become familiar with the world of programming through the use of video games. In fact any person can learn the basic programming concepts through video games.
Run Marco! is a simple game in which we control Marco, an explorer that have to find the gems lost along different levels. With this pretext, concepts such as function or loop are presented to the player, so the player can practice and learn these concepts in a natural way.
The game is composed of 10 levels, although according to the information that is provided when we finish those 10 levels, new levels will be added soon.
In those 10 levels we learn how to make use of the available commands (functions), so Marco can move along the screen and pick up the gem that is placed in each level.
When we move from level to level, new instructions are showed, and how to use them, so we can move Marco in a new way. Thanks to that, we will learn how move Marco to pick up the gem making use of the new instructions.
It's important to read and not ignore the instructions that appear at the beginning of some levels, as these instructions explains new concepts that we will need to allow Marco to grab the gem.
Without realizing it, we will have learned the concept of function and loop (for and while), which will be a knowledge that will help us if we want to learn a real programming language.
The game is translated into multiple languages.
We will be able to run the game on Android and iPad (iOS) devices, and we can play using the web browser. For make use of the web version, we need to install in our PC the free program Unity Web Player. If we don't install this program, it will show a black screen and we will not be able to play.
There is also an extension available for Google Chrome, that also requires the software Unity Web Player.
This game is perfect for those who have never had contact with programming, and especially for the children, as the colorful pictures, and the animated instructions, make the game very intuitive and easy to handle.