Kodu is visual programming language developed by Microsoft for both the PC and the XBox. Children get very excited by the excellent graphics compared to 2D Platforms like Scratch are fantastic however I do prefer Scratch for teaching computational thinking. There is a place in the curriculum for Kodu as due to the excellent graphics children are highly motivated to build with it. It has been around for a while and there are a lot of useful resources out there for beginners, some are listed at the bottom of the page.
Kodu projects are always a popular in class as the idea of making their own 3D high quality games without having to learn a massive amount of code is really appealling. Kodu like all good software is both playful and purposeful, anyone can rapidly terraform a small world, apply a few objects, set a custom path using nodes and a win criteria. Most manage it in a few minutes, zooming in and out, moving the screen, altering object sizes, object rotation, and all other functions are completed using the mouse.
The main feature of Kodu is its excellent 3D graphics. Children never entirely engage directly with code itself, but rather place and instruct objects using WHEN/DO arguments with multiple selectors such as: See - Rover - Shoot - Missile
It's simplicity makes it engaging, as does its sensory programming features within the gaming environment. It isn't designed to introduce children to the core of programming languages, or key conventions such as variables,looping etc which is why we don't spend too much time on it, but it is fun encourages children to think logically, be creative and focus on what makes a great game.
Kodu is compatible with the recently released BBC MicroBit, a stripped-down mini computer similar to a Raspberry Pi. Kodu reads the micro:bit accelerometer & face buttons, writes to the LED screen, and interfaces with the real world over I/O pins in this feature demonstration video.