Life Code

Rating Life Code - 5 out of 5 - Best Rating 5.0

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 12+
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About Life Code

Life Code is an augmented reality app for education. It is an adventure story of the Life Code Project allowing users to actively engage in the Darwin Museum of Evolution based in Moscow. The app explores in detail every aspect of the Darwin Museum whilst engaging users in a unique comix background story.

Life Code Review

This unique application offers one of the largest indoor quests in the world with over 1,000 metres of the quest to explore in a large museum (20,000 square meters). At the same time, this quest combines entertainment and education. Players interact with real exhibits in augmented reality.

Life Code is free from in-app adverts and in-app purchases and is available on the iOS, Android and Windows platforms. This application is safe to use and is suitable for ages 12 and over according to the rating of the application. It is noted that to gain the full potential of the app the user should be located within the Darwin Museum; however, the on-line experience is truly wonderful too! Although this application works well in landscape mode on most devices we did prefer a tablet display.

The central idea of the quest story is the DNA research in the year 2057 and demonstration of future tech including AI for Good. That is why the name of this quest/project was set as "Life Code". 

The app opens with a wonderful, engaging splash screen that feels like to are about to enter something very special. The language and audio are available in 25 different languages, select your given language and audio and continue via the ‘Next’ button.

The AI robot Max 2057 welcomes you to the application. Enter your name to identify yourself and choose where you would like to explore, ‘in the museum’ or ‘on-line’. The developers can be congratulated on the graphical display has a marvel comic book style.

‘On-line’ – we were required to download an update from the internet, which took a while to complete. The application goes on to explain the LIFE CODE project in a comic book style. This is very engaging and beautifully presented. The audio is clear and well-paced with a supported written commentary in the bottom left of the screen.

Once the data had been downloaded the user is greeted by Max-2057 who explains the game quest. A map of the museum is shown along with a pathway to the first task of collecting 5 genome examples displayed as cards. It is noted at this point the screen displays instructions and help for the AI robot in the bottom left, access to the user’s camera in the bottom right and the quest completion icon in the top right of the screen.

Selecting a numbered option offers the user further instructions such as finding a given word in the Augmented Reality mode using the top right-hand icon and by finding the animal within the museum. The user is transported to the museum using 5 a 3D mapped environment. The interface and graphics are seamless with the ability to zoom in and out.

Further numbered options within the museum require the user to solve a puzzle of an animal’s identity. Once found the user is shown a wonderful 3D animation of the animal with some authentic sounds. Each found animal is supported by some key facts. The AR mode is a nice feature and the user interface is easy to navigate. Once the user has completed their sample card collection on the ground floor they are encouraged to move to the third floor. Other information icons denoted by ‘i’ provide further ways to explore the museum artefacts.

The user's task this time is to collect 8 samples that complete a puzzle. Once again, a map of the museum is shown with clearly mapped numbers. Areas in this section of the museum include the Artic Sea, Siberian Taiga, Forests of Primorye, Tropical Seas, South American and South Asia Rainforests and African Savannahs.

Puzzles include rotating puzzles, barrel puzzles, word anagrams and many more. Once the eight pieces have been collected the user must place them to complete the picture and collect the Key to open up the next picture to reveal the hidden Australian animal. The screen constantly updates your journey using the icons in the corners of the screen.

The 7th Hall of the Museum is dedicated to life on earth since the beginning. Once again 8 samples and 8 pieces to collect will reward the user. These topics areas include a variety of dinosaurs, deep-sea organisms and pre-historic land creatures.

Once again, the user must solve the puzzles unlocking a series of games or by using the Augmented Reality feature. The experience comes to an end once task 24 has been completed, now the user’s final task is to complete the map puzzle. The final two tasks look at the hunting scenes in AR mode to solve a number puzzle and discover further species. Returning to point 27 on the museum map use the AR to find the Secret Door where the adventure ends in a final set of animated sequences dedicated to Earth and congratulations from Max 2057.

It is noted that if the app is closed it will resume in the same place with the option to skip introductory content if you wish. Whilst using the ‘on-line’ mode it is noted that the AR feature is not available.

Is the LIFE CODE app easy to use?

The LIFE CODE application and the menu systems and features are very easy to navigate. The application has a very clean look to the colours and animations. At no point does the screen look over cluttered. Each of the menus can be easily accessed and the user interface is very intuitive. There was some initial confusion regarding each of the icons in the corner of the screens but this became clear as the adventure progressed.

How will parents benefit? 

Parents can set their child off and running with the application with very little support from the outset. Parents will be reassured to know that the application is child friendly and at no point can the child access any unwanted in-app purchases, inappropriate content or in-depth menu systems. Very often parents struggle with museum trips, the educational focus and the overwhelming display of artefacts and exhibits. Parents will be delighted to know that this application focuses in on educational and provides the child with a focus for each activity with some wonderful unique features.

How will teachers benefit?

Teachers can set their students off and running with the application with very little support from the outset. Teachers could use this application when taking a group of students to the museum. Teachers could advise the student to work in pairs or teams to see who can finish the adventure first. Screenshots can be taken of completed puzzles or the animals discovered and used later when returning to the classroom.

How will the user benefit?

It’s great fun! Our users found the application a delight to use and enjoyed the Augmented Reality. They particularly enjoyed the differentiation of puzzles and the back story behind the application adventure.

What we love about the LIFE CODE app

The graphics, animation sound and narration are incredible. It has a comic book feel along with the feel of a computer game. It was beneficial to the user to be able to skip puzzles if they found them too hard, at no point would the user get stuck within the application and museum tour. The puzzles were differentiated and would appeal to many different age groups and interests. We loved the fact that the application was quite dark in its display, ideal for a dimly lit museum.

What LIFE CODE app could improve on

The LIFE CODE app is an excellent application and there is a limited amount of improvements that can be made, however, we have suggested the following:

  • The initial 195MB download of data may put some user off in terms of connection, size of the download and wait time
  • Our user pressed some icons in the wrong order and yet the sample was collected.
  • The application at times seems quite complicated for the user and the age group suggested. Additional wording under the icons or a pop-up display could help.
  • We did find some of the puzzles very challenging to solve with in-app instructions, especially the revolving puzzle wheels.
  • Our users really struggled finding the clues in the museum whilst playing in the on-line mode. The developers could give hints along the way to help direct the user. 

How much does the LIFE CODE application cost?

The LIFE CODE application is free to play without limits.

Is LIFE CODE safe to use?

Yes. The application does not require an account and email to start with. The developers have ensured everything you view is age-appropriate and secure. LIFE CODE is free from in-app adverts and is 100% safe for children.

Overall Rating of the application

The LIFE CODE app is a stunning piece of design. Not only does it encourage children to discover within the Darwin museum but it also adds educational value in a fun and challenging manner. The back story, graphics, animations and sounds are engaging and would appeal to the chosen target market and beyond. The LIFE CODE application is by far one of the best Augmented Reality apps that we have seen to support an educational visit or discovering this wonderful museum from the comfort of your own home. LIFE CODE comes highly recommended by The EducationalAppStore.com

App Details

Teacher Ratings

Devices

Android, iPad, iPhone

Price

Free

Skills

Cognitive Development
Communication Skills
Engagement and Usability
Reading
Tech Skills

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

NEKST SPEIS, OOO

Download Life Code

You can download Life Code on your iOS or Android devices from the app stores. Download the Life Code app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Downloadfor Android Downloadfor iOS

Screenshots for Life Code

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