The beauty of apps is that they allow us to escape time and geographic boundaries. For example, although it is freezing right now where some of us are, our kids can still a splashing good time with Dr. Panda’s Swimming Pool.
The latest app in the beloved Dr. Panda series, it is also the spiritual successor to Dr. Panda’s Daycare. The gameplay is similar in that kids get to play freely with their favorite characters, but themed around swimming and in full 3D.
Just Keep Swimming
The app begins in the locker room. One by one, parents will arrive to drop off their children. You help these baby animals get ready by choosing a swimsuit complete with a headgear. Optionally, you can get them in the shower or make them go potty. A dressing table in the corner lets you dry their hair (or fur) after a shower.
To get to the pool, tap on the map on the righthand side. There are three kinds of pool: an outdoor pool complete with a pirate ship, an indoor pool with a trampoline and a water slide, and an elephant-shaped inflatable pool.
Whichever pool you choose, you should know that most of the objects there are interactive. At the outdoor pool, for example, you can dive off a plank, climb on nets, search for the pirate treasure, or just lounge about with a coconut drink. Meanwhile, you can feed the baby animals with fruits and ice cream at the cafe by the inflatable pool.
Since there are no time limits in the app, you can spend as much time you like in a pool. You can also move to a new pool any time, or go back to the locker room to retrieve a different baby animal.
You can play with up to five baby animals at a time. Once you have gone back to the locker room, the parents will come at random to pick up their children. You can let them go home, or take them back to the swimming pools.
Parents Need to Know
Dr. Panda’s Swimming Pool is a digital toy. It contains no rules and no narrative; whatever story each character has is up for the kids to decide. There really is no wrong way to play. This kind of gameplay is suitable for kids ages five and under.
The app works great in Airplane mode. It contains no in-app purchases, no social network links, and no third-party ads. Links to the developer’s other apps are present, but can be turned off from the secured parents’ section. Additionally, you can toggle on or off the background music and the sound effects separately.
The app is available now as a universal app on the App Store. Please note that it requires iPad 2 or newer, iPhone 4s or newer, or iPod Touch 5th generation to play.
Things I Like
Dr. Panda’s Swimming Pool features rich graphics and animation that appeal to both kids and grown-ups. The details are especially vivid in the app (as observed in the way the water moves and reflects light), creating an immersive environment to play in.
I will admit that the app does not have as much interactivity as say, Dr. Panda and Toto’s Treehouse, but it still entertains. Various areas can be explored to find delightful surprises from water slides to secret treasure chests. There is also potty humor in the locker room as characters may be seated on the toilet, much to the kids’ delight (and the parents’ chagrin).
All in all, this app will be a nice treat for longtime Dr. Panda fans. In future updates, it would be great to have more activities and objects to play with. I would also like to see the controls tweaked a bit to feel more tactile.
Despite its shortcomings, Dr. Panda’s Swimming Pool is a cute app, still. The 3D graphics are especially stunning with convincing details such as reflections in the water and squishy floaties. Hidden gems, such as treasure chests and pirate crews, provide ample opportunity for storytelling. Suitable for kids ages 2-5.
App was provided for our honest review.