Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.
What’s It Like?
Available on the web or as an app, Human Resource Machine is a programming puzzle game that lets you play as an office drone — a cog in a machine performing simple tasks and trying to avoid having robots take over your job. On each level, your boss gives a command, and you automate the task by moving items from your inbox to the outbox. Moving items is achieved through simple, drag-and-drop commands in a sidebar.
Price: $4.99 (app), $9.99 (Steam)
Pros: Entertaining, addictive, and enjoyable puzzles make programming come to life.
Cons: Very little in-game instruction or help; students might give up or just search the internet for the solution.
Bottom line: A novel way to learn programming that will require student collaboration and extra adult support.