Swift Playgrounds (for iPad) starts out like a puzzle game where players have to figure out how to enter and test code until they find the right solution. The code they learn to use is in Apple’s Swift language, which real developers use to create iOS apps. Inputting code is easy; players can either type it in using the iPad’s touch keyboard, or they can select suggested code from a list of commands. This code appears on the left of the screen while a 3D puzzle appears on the right. After inputting some code, players can run it and see a colorful, cute alien move around according to their programming. Running the existing code can be done at any time, checking for bugs along the way and iterating to a solution. Players are rewarded when they see that the little alien is successful in navigating the convoluted paths to collect gems, activate switches, and hop through portals.

Swift Playgrounds offers many courses. Some have students create completely different types of apps and games, such as a Breakout clone or a game that plots lines on a graphing app. New courses seem to be added regularly, giving Swift Playgrounds quite a bit of longevity.