I’ve been coding for most of my life. Started as a kid with an Apple IIe and some basic game codes found in the back of a kids magazine. Then in my early twenties I had a job with a start up. The guys in IT would teach me html on our lunch breaks. Remember Geocities? Yeah, I totally had one of those annoying bright pink websites with blinky text. Now, I’ve graduated to cleaner lines and the world of WordPress and open source code and software where others figure out the bulk of it and I just tweak it. Not as fun or rewarding, but definitely faster and looks way better than anything I can do.
My kids are into coding now too. After Minecraft exploded years ago, they were amazed that with a few letters and characters they could create mods and worlds. Right in their own hands. BitsBox contacted me to see if I’d be interested in trying them out and letting my kids dive into game coding. Of course I said yes.
My tween is 12. He loves video games, videos of other people playing video games and talking about videos of videos of people playing video games. It’s a huge world in the land of YouTube. I wanted to show him that he can create his own games! My youngest is 8 and on the autism spectrum. He’s also fascinated with games, but more on how they are made and what makes them work than actually playing them.
I thought, instead of letting them loose with the box by themselves and having them let me know how it was and how it worked, that I would try it myself. I mean, I may be a bit rusty on my game coding, but this was taking me back to the days when I was there age, flipping to the back of the magazine and typing in the string of letter and numbers into my trusty IIe.
The box comes with a magazine, some stickers, some cards, a toy, and a lot of fun. The packaging wasn’t your typical packing peanuts but fun cutouts that reminded me of the sides of the printer paper you used to have to tear off. My boys said it reminded them of gears.
I followed the instructions and went to work. Within minutes I had a pie exploding on my screen. Dove in a bit more and fell in love with a game called Zombies vs. Chickens. I was typing away and Brady came over to see what the commotion was about. He then was directing me. “More Zombies!” “Faster Zombies!” “ZOMBIE EGGS!” He was having just as much fun as I was and wanted to try it for himself. He’s pretty good at typing into google and YouTube, but this was a bit harder for him so I went back to typing for him, following his instructions.
BitsBox is geared for kids aged 6 thru 12, but I’m in my *ahem* late 30’s and had just as much fun as the boys did. I only have boys, but was talking to a few friends about this that have girls and they seemed just as excited to try it, so it’s definitely not aimed to one gender or another.
You can sign up to play in a few different ways. They have a digital download of a book of games, a monthly subscription of just the book, or, for just a few dollars more, the full box of goodies and fun! They have 1, 3, and 12 month subscriptions so you can try them out before committing to a full year.
This was so much fun that I’m definitely signing up for a 3 month subscription. I mean, for the kids. Yeah, the kids want it, not me. Nope… Okay, it’s totally for me, but I’ll share with the kids. Maybe.
disclosure: I was sent a free one month trial of bitsbox for my review. No monetary compensation was made and no affiliate links are included in this post.