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Cato's Hike: A Programming and Logic Odyssey

By Hesham Wahba

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A little programmer odyssey!

"Who says that computer programming should only be left to the adults?... although Cato’s Hike is geared towards children, it can definitely unlock the little programmer in all of us." -- AppAdvice

Cato is a little boy who just like every little boy likes to go out and play. One fine day Cato was playing outside when a portal to another world opened up in front of him; a portal to another world!

Cato stepped through and discovered that this world unlike his own didn't follow the same rules. Every time he tried to take a step or an action he'd find himself stuck in place. Stuck that is until he finally discovered the rules in this universe: by writing a program for himself he would be able to overcome all obstacles and learn something new along the way!

* Simple programming interface using beautiful cards with pictures
* A visual manual to help guide parents and more interested users
* Loops, branches and if/else, goto labels, looking and chaining looks to look ahead, goto's, and simple memory using colored flags are the main tools used to introduce programming
* 60 levels and 12 tutorials (always working to add more!)
* Powerful map editor so you can create your own maps and puzzles and share with friends
* Preview your maps directly in the map editor to save time and test out your maps more quickly!
* Saves program progress so you can pick up at any time and iteratively develop
* Email your puzzle solutions to share your genius with others
* Beautiful artwork and amusing sound effects and music
* Puzzles ranging from easy to hard to teach different programming concepts without trying to force them
* Emailed maps include gorgeous screenshot of what you are sending so your friends know what to expect
* Cato's Hike teaches children (ages 5+) the essentials of programming and how to think about solving complex problems
* The challenges in there are solvable easily by children of all ages but more nuanced and complex solutions should challenge teenagers and parents alike!
* Just a fun puzzle game :)

Upcoming features:
* Hints on harder levels
* Possibly more tutorial levels if enough ask for it
* Possible cloud-sync

Essentially, 'Cato’s Hike' is a universal game for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to teach kids and young children basic programming skills. The younger ones will obviously enjoy solving levels using simpler coding techniques but the hope is the older ones will pick up more advanced concepts like loops and branching as well as even more advanced concepts like a basic stack or memory! There is enough in here to keep everyone from children to parents engaged! More challenges are upcoming however so stay tuned!

As with all my projects I take this one very seriously and I hope you enjoy. I intend to continue improving Cato's Hike as much as possible and incorporate your feedback and suggestions as well as try to make it more intuitive and better able to convey the concepts it is setting out to teach. If you have any questions, suggestions, ideas, or bugs you'd like to report please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly at:

What's New in Version 1.3

- much improved look and feel for the iPhone with easier to press buttons to access programs and hide programs and so on
- can now look MANY steps ahead!!! Just put one look after another for the same thing and it will look ahead as many cards as you have in a row!
- colored labels or GOTO's that you can place in code and jump to them for loops or mini-procedures
- colored flags that you can drop and pick up for different reasons
- new Advanced World level, It's a Bug's Life
- can look specifically for grass and stone now
- tap character on main screen to switch
- updated manual and added two more intermediate programs to teach about the new GOTO's and GOTO LABEL's as well as a new tutorial on chaining looks to look ahead multiple steps
- new tutorial level added at end of tutorial list
- fix crash on exiting right after the fireworks appear after winning level
- other bug fixes and cleanups


iPhone Screenshot 1
iPhone Screenshot 2
iPhone Screenshot 3
iPhone Screenshot 4
iPhone Screenshot 5
iPad Screenshot 1
iPad Screenshot 2
iPad Screenshot 3
iPad Screenshot 4
iPad Screenshot 5

Customer Reviews

Fun & Effective Way to Learn the Basics of Computer Programming

Cato's Hike is an excellent way to introduce anyone -child or adult- to the basic concepts and logic of computer programming. Through a fun "game," you learn the fundamental logical framework that forms the foundation of every program and every programming language.

In playing with this app, you learn a computer language without even realizing it. Instead of using text "commands," you use symbols to program your character to accomplish her task. If you "get" the concepts presented in this game and master them, you're well on your way to being a "real" computer programmer for fun or profit.

The program could be improved by integrating the tutorial into the gameplay levels, rather than by presenting all the concepts in the tutorial upfront. Nonetheless, this is a truly exceptional learning tool to introduce computer programming to anyone.

Great for big kids, too!

I was just considering banging my head against the wall after reading 6 chapters or a book on programming. Now that I have Cato, I'm beginning to understand the overall logic of programming with out drowning in the endless and often peculiar details of a particular programming language. I still don't quite understand connectors (vs GOTO). As I'm a bit over 7 years old, I'd love to see a bit more guidance beyond where the tutorial ends. For example, tasks for the particular landscapes (cards to use or not use, a goal for the number of cards used, and then afterwards sample solutions).


I'm having loads of fun re-learning programming with this app. Visually appealing, clever, and engaging. I find it a little slow to load some screens (particularly the tutorial instruction windows) but apart from that I think it's excellent. I wish I had a kid to try it out on. I've sent it to friends with kids so they can play too. Just last week I heard a tech reporter say that If you want to give your kids a great chance to have work in the future, make sure they know how to program. Besides that, it's a great way to teach and practice logical thinking.

Cato's Hike: A Programming and Logic Odyssey
View in iTunes
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • $4.99
  • Category: Education
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.3
  • Size: 32.4 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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