The creators of Codermarz sent me a free game to try out and review. We are a game playing family and are almost always up for new adventures, so this was an obvious agreement!
*I am not being paid to write this review and these are my family's honest thoughts*
Leigh is a computer systems engineer and Mack is interested in coding. Codermarz, as the name suggests, plays to their loves of coding. The idea of coding is to create and follow instructions that result in a goal achievement. Codermarz is a coding game, but as a board game that doesn't involve screens, helps with the basics without using screen time, which so many of us try to avoid. When the kids were quite young, we used Robot Turtles to teach beginning coding concepts. It was a wonderful beginning game for this type of thinking. However, it was quickly outgrown. Codermarz is a more advanced game that continues the concepts of coding in a more sophisticated way.
Codermarz has two game play options; beginner and advanced. Kae (5), Mack (10), and Will (12) played the beginning version with Leigh. Later, Rory (14) played the advanced version with Mack, Will, and Leigh.
Some takeaways from the simple version are:
The instructions are a bit unclear. Leigh read the full booklet and watched a game play video, but still found some parts poorly explained. The volcano token is one such piece. The instructions did not explain what was to occur after initial encounter with the token in the simple version (this was cleared up in the advanced version).
The directionality of movement was not clearly stated. We questioned whether the piece should move according to which direction the human player was facing, which direction the player piece faced, or related to the board or goal.
The simple version was too slow and simplistic for the older kids, but slightly too advanced for the gifted 5 year old who can typically understand games meant for 7 or 8 year olds.
Additional movement cards such as diagonal would have improved play-ability.
Takeaways from advanced play:
As I said in simple, the volcano card is explained better with the advanced rules. However, when the 4 diffuse cards are spent, the volcano remains and adds tedium and frustration to the game play.
Rory suggested additional, intermediary goals would have enhanced game play.
Overall, tedious play that could be aided by recharging the diffuse cards, adding goals, and movements.
Overall, everyone enjoyed the game.
It is a good advancement from simpler things like Robot Turtles for coding concepts specifically.
The concept is simple and fairly easy to follow.
The advanced program cards support coding concepts better.
We would play this again, and might have purchased it in a store. The concept is good and solidifies coding concepts which is important to us as a homeschooling family.