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4.0/5
1 review
Makeblock Halocode Reviews

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    100% OF FAMILYRATERS DIG IT

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    Recommended? You Betcha!
    August 02, 2020
    Quebec, Canada

    Can be advanced or simple, better for non-beginners but fine

    If I compare this to other kid’s coding toys I’ve used, I feel it’s definitely aimed more to the higher ages and for children who already have an interest in electronics or coding. That being said, it is accessible to beginners, but parents will probably need to lend a helping hand. It could definitely be more clearly laid out. It’s simple, but with complex stuff like this, dumbing it down even further makes it painless for even those who struggle with this stuff, to be able to try it. It also would allow younger ages to be able to access it as well.

    The benefit of it’s complexity is that it has a lot of features and potential that the simpler kits I’ve tried didn’t have. You can follow the simple tutorials or you can continue off book, adding elements and accessories and creating a rather complex machine. Kids can teach themselves a lot using the online community.

    The other thing I really liked was that you can work in Coding Blocks, or Python. So it’s still super accessible even for those past the beginner stage and can stay with them, as they continue to improve. Even if the user doesn’t enjoy it and decides they won’t continue down a coding/electronic play or hobby path, the simple setups are really fun and help them to understand if/then scenarios and how electronics can be built and made. I’d recommend it to any kid for that reason alone, especially if you’re willing to help them out.

    Using the online software (you can use it on the web, download it or use the app), the Halocode can be used to control a series of on screen sprites and scenarios. Or you can simply have it perform tasks on the Halocode chip itself. It comes with a series of project card ideas that vary in difficulty (Example: Make a smiley face when lifted) and teach new lessons and uses for the software and hardware.

    The only negative I have is that I did struggle with something to the degree that it may be faulty. I couldn’t get the microphone to work! I copied the code exactly as shown in the example (replacing the wifi with my wifi details) and yet it did not work when I spoke the code word. The microphone didn’t seem to read me or my partner. I do feel like the microphone is faulty, but there’s no way to tell. I contacted them and am awaiting any response, but nothing so far.

    It would be brilliant if there was a ‘diagnostic’ centre that would check if the entire Haloblock was working as intended, as despite all my problem solving skills I couldn’t figure it out. I took a star off for this.

    Overall, this is a nifty piece of Tech that’s best for kids that have shown an interest in Technology. For beginner’s, a parent's guidance will probably be necessary to get the most out of this (at least at first), but it’s awesome that it can be as complex or as simple as the user wants it to be. There’s a ton of potential in the Halocode computer to continue onto some really advanced coding and even build machines.

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