The game is played by a grown-up (the Turtle Mover) and by kid(s) (the Turtle Masters). The turtle master will select code cards based on which way he/she wants their turtle to move or turn. The grown up will then move the turtle following each code card respectively.
Gradually more and more tiles can be added for more variety in the map board. There are three different types of obstacle tiles: stone walls, ice walls, and crates. Two code cards, the laser and frog function, can also be added for more difficult levels.
This game is definitely fun and educational and you can’t go wrong with buying this for your kid if you’re a parent or teacher. At first, when I heard about the game I was on the fence about it since I wasn’t sure I was willing to pay the price just for a children’s game, but I was so excited to find out that they were selling this at Target, and after hearing about it more through Tom Vasel’s video review, I decided to jump on it. I have a daughter who just turned four this summer and I’ve really been wanting to find a more complex board game that I can introduce to her (she’s outgrown Haba’s My Very First Games My First Orchard). She also has a great desire to learn new things and she’s quite the fast learner.
On our first play, I followed the instructions and did as the rulebook told me… I thought I was doing something wrong because she wasn’t getting it. So I thought, we’ll try again the next day after her school lessons. On our second play, she still didn’t get it, and I thought, “What’s going on? I thought this is supposed to be fun and easy?” So I decided to try again the next day. By our third play, I’m not sure what happened but it finally clicked. Next thing I knew, she was just playing her code cards like a little wizkid… well, in this case, a turtle master. Everytime after she got done with her school work she always asked me to play Robot Turtles (it also became a good motivation for her to actually get her school work done faster so she can play). After several plays, she kept asking me if she can move the turtle herself. The rulebook states that the grown up should be the one to do it, but I just let her do it anyway, and it seems like she enjoys it even more; and she even does her own turtle robot noises.
Not only is this game fun and educational, but it comes with several tiles for you to modify the game board set up. Honestly, the sky is the limit. The rulebook has a few set ups provided but you can just make up your own if you wanted to.
The game comes with four turtles so it can play up to four players; I can only imagine with more players the more funny turtle noises. The quality of the tiles are great and it even has gold metallic leaf around the turtles, bugs and jewels to add some aesthetics. The game board looks like it has a linen finish. The illustrations are colorful and vibrant on all the code cards. It has an insert that fits everything nicely with designated places for all the components. The rulebook is quick and easy to refer to, and even comes with what to say to the kids when explaining the rules to them.
The only minor complaint I have is that I haven’t been able to introduce the frog function yet to my daughter and so the trail of code cards can get pretty long for her table she uses for school. I play it on the floor with her so she’ll have plenty of space to lay out her cards. Not a huge deal, since the frog function will fix that, but in the mean time, the floor is the place we play it on.
As mentioned already, there are variety set ups and laser and function cards to be added. I hope they will come up with an expansion with more different obstacle tiles and code cards, but for now, the basic game will suffice.
Overall, this is worth the buy. My daughter enjoys it a lot, and as the starburst on the cover says “introduces basic coding concepts to preschoolers”. What more can a parent ask for to have their kid(s) enjoy a game at this age and get educated at the same time.