Living in a tropical country, I tend to get a “weather shock” when I travel to colder places. It always feels really cold no matter how many layers I put on. So, I can only imagine how terrible it is for Pico whenever he visits a new place.
Pico is a friendly penguin and the star of his own app, Pico the Penguin. It’s a cute app in which we learn that Pico has left his icy cold home in Antarctica for a trip around the world. But, he forgot that there is no other place as cold as home. So, wherever he goes he feels really hot. Your task is to cool Pico with the help of his newfound friends.
Too Hot to Handle
Using simple taps or swipes, you can help Pico’s friends share their unique way of cooling down. For example, in the African plains you can drag patches of mud off a rhinoceros and place them on Pico. A thermometer on his side shows your current progress: red for hot and blue for cool. Your goal is to get the thermometer to turn blue.
The app has seven unique animals from around the world that you get to meet, from the camels in the desert of Sahara to the orangutan in the tropical jungle of Borneo. You can play with each animal in any order, or repeat any mini game as you like.
Parents Need to Know
Pico the Penguin features a simple and repetitive gameplay suitable for kids ages 2-4. It has no time limit and no high scores, kids can take their time playing the app. The main part of the app is text-free with audio narration in British English.
In the parents’ section, you will find fun facts about some of the animals featured in the app. For example, did you know that kangaroos lick their forearms to stay cool and that elephants can suck up to 17 liters of water through his trunk? (Neither did I!) You can use these information as discussion materials with your child.
The app works great in Airplane mode. It contains no ads and no in-app purchases. Links for subscribing to the developer’s newsletter and for submitting a review are present but contained in the secured parents’ section.
Pico the Penguin is available now as a universal app on the App Store.
Things I Like
The first thing you will notice about the app is its beautiful visuals. The illustrations, a collage of 3D-style backgrounds and hand-drawn animals, are cute and kid-friendly. The earthy color palette is also pleasing to the eye.
In the audio department, the app goes the minimalist route by including only atmospheric sound effects during the games. Since the app is likely to be played on repeat, I imagine many parents will appreciate this decision.
Gameplay-wise, everything is very simple and intuitive for a child. The required controls are simple taps and swipes, making it suitable for the targeted age range. Visual hints are available at the beginning of each game, and will reappear if the player has difficulty completing the game’s objective.
A cute app to play with animals from around the world. Its simple and repetitive gameplay makes it a suitable choice for road trips and quick play breaks. Beautiful visuals make the app a joy to use, as do the playful soundtracks. Suitable for ages 2-4.
App was provided for our honest review.