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Autonauts vs PirateBots Could Help Thousands of Children Learn Coding

Autonauts vs Piratebots

Isn’t programming great? It depends how it’s taught, which is why Denki and Curve Games are donating 5,000 PC copies of Autonauts vs PirateBots.

We’ve certainly sat through some very dry programming lessons, tedious to the point where it’s almost put us off the subject. That shouldn’t be the case with Autonauts vs PirateBots, which launches later this week. Why? Because, like the original Autonauts, it’ll reward you for automating processes such as resource gathering, crafting and, in this sequel, brawling.

It’s not just a case of clicking on a robot and telling it go to position y, either. The game has its own visual programming language, allowing you to drag and drop commands into a bot’s brain. You can tell a bot to repeat actions till a certain condition is met, use nested loops and so on. Sure, you could get something wrong, which you won’t spot until you see the bot’s stopped moving, but that’s just part of the fun.

Essentially, Autonauts vs PirateBots can be used to teach the basics of coding, but in a fun way, which is why developer Denik and publisher Curve Games are offering those 5,000 copies to UK schools, colleges and universities. In the UK, the national curriculum states that children as young as five should be taught programming basics, so it could be a great way to keep young children engaged.

So how do teachers, lecturers and tutors get their hands on some free copies? If you fall into one of those three categories, you can apply here, with your educational email address and a copy of your photo ID. The form allows you to apply for up to thirty codes, with an option for more if you can justify it.

The one catch is that Denki and Curve are giving out Steam codes, which means you’ll have to persuade your institution to install Steam on whichever machines your class will be using. But if you’re a teacher looking to make coding interesting, this could be right up your street. As for the rest of us, you can buy Autonauts vs PirateBots when it comes out on PC (via Steam) this July 28th.

Weekend Editor // Chris has been gaming since the days of the Acorn Electron, which was allegedly purchased to 'help him with his homework'. You can probably guess how well that went. He’ll tackle most genres – football titles aside – though he has a taste for games that that are post-apocalyptic, horror-oriented or thought provoking in nature.