Integrating real-world objects into a fun iPad game is Osmo’s brand; we reviewed the company’s drawing game, Osmo Monster, last year. Today, Osmo has announced the latest addition to its collection, Coding Jam. The game has kids placing physical tiles in front of the iPad display to create musical sequences and melodies.

The game introduces children to abstract coding concepts like loops and subroutines, through the motions of creating complicated snippets of music. For example, users can place a looping tile onto the table with a ‘2’ to have the enclosed sequence of sounds repeat two times.

Coding Jam is aimed at children, ostensibly simple enough to play with for a five-year old whilst offering flexibility and depth to entertain older kids as well.

The Osmo system places a mirror over the iPad front camera which is angled to reflect the table space directly in front of the tablet, when the iPad is sitting in the Osmo dock. The Osmo apps then use computer vision to analyze the scene and work out what’s in front of them.

In the case of Coding Jam, users select characters and instruments on the iPad screen. They then arrange the included pack of physical tiles to formulate the sounds. The tactility of the pieces help children engage with the application and think through their ideas visually and kinesthetically.

You can place memory blocks to save a specific sequence for later or use loops to quickly repeat a set of beats. The loops and memory blocks (which simulate computer subroutines) can be nested too, adding a lot of depth to the experience. Children can draw inspiration by watching a daily feed of jams made by other Osmo users inside the app itself.

The Coding Jam add-on pack is available now, priced at $59. However, if you don’t already have the Osmo game system, you’ll need to buy that separately. Once you have a Starter Kit, which includes other activities out-of-the-box, you can explore the company’s full range of add-on pack games spanning drawing, physics, coding, business and more.  Find out more information on the Osmo website.

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About the Author

Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.