ThinkFun’s Latest Puzzle Board Game, Available Exclusively at Target, Challenges Young Minds, Preparing Kids 8+ for Careers in Computer Science
ThinkFun, the world’s leader in addictively fun thinking games, announced today the availability of Code Master, a puzzle board game that takes kids on the ultimate coding adventure. In this new game, kids learn how to step through code to understand the logic and sequence behind a computer’s actions. Kids will be entertained while developing an understanding of computer programming principles – no computer required. Code Master is now available exclusively at Target for a MSRP of $19.99.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. will create 1.4 million jobs in computer science related fields by 2020. Despite the opportunities in this field, only 1 in 10 U.S. K-12 schools teach children to code  and less than 2.4 percent of college students graduate with a degree in computer science.  In order to increase children’s interest in computer programming, parents need to find ways to make coding exciting while building a child’s understanding of key concepts.
With ThinkFun’s Code Master, kids learn the fundamentals of computer programming logic in a fun and entertaining way. On each level, players program an avatar to harvest power crystals and reach the destination portal. The program is written using a flowchart called a Guide Scroll, which illustrates the shape of the required program. Players must think carefully because only one specific sequence of actions will lead to success. Code Master’s rules of program execution help kids understand how a real computer executes programs, building a powerful mental model of how computers operate. The game’s 60 logic puzzles, for ages 8 and up, gradually increase in difficulty, introducing fundamental programming concepts and strengthening a child’s ability to think like a computer and visualize the outcome of their coded instructions.
“Research suggests that one of the key predictors of success in computer science classes is the ability to mentally step through code,” said Mark Engelberg, Code Master inventor, professional puzzle designer, and math/computer science teacher. “Code Master challenges kids to do exactly that, first on simple, linear sequences of instructions, and then on more sophisticated programs with loops and conditional branches. Playing Code Master gives children a head start in computer science, engaging them early in the subject and laying a foundation for mastering advanced programming skills.”
“ThinkFun has a 30-year history of creating games that are fun, innovative and take an unexpected approach to ignite thinking skills,” said Bill Ritchie, co-founder of ThinkFun. “Coding is in our DNA. From the beginning when we launched our first game, the Hexadecimal Puzzle, to our newest game Code Master, ThinkFun celebrates gifted inventors that offer unique ways to make learning fun. We are excited to introduce another coding game that any child can play, but will challenge every child, or even adult, to master.”
 Source: Code.org database of local computer programming schools, sourced by a combination of data from the College Board, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and individual teacher submissions: http://code.org/learn/local
 National Science Foundation data on graduation rates from college:: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/appendix.htm
About ThinkFun, Inc.
For 32 years, ThinkFun Inc. has been dedicated to creating games that spark curiosity, cultivate confidence, and nurture life-long learners. Our games encourage interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM), while generating excitement for a world of learning through play. Innovation, creativity, value, and fun are the four elements that comprise the development of every game. Ignite the mind, and change the world for each player.