I’ve always appreciated apps that allow younger kids to simulate things they would normally not be able to experience due to various reasons. For example, apps that explore outer space or the underwater world really help kids learn about many things without actually going to these places.
Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids is a relatively new app that allows kids to explore the forest as Chipper the Chipmunk. Along the way, they will meet and learn about different animals.
Explore the Forest with Chipper the Chipmunk
The app start with Chipper waking up inside his burrow. Once he has decided to go out, you can tap anywhere on screen to move him there. The idea is to navigate Chipper to explore the forest and meet new animals. This includes climbing up the trees and trying to loot the bluebird’s eggs from their nest, or going up to the top of the tallest tree in the forest to enjoy the scenery.
The entire forest is constantly changing, transforming from day to night and vice versa. So when Chipper is up in the trees kids may enjoy a beautiful night sky or a colorful rainbow, depending on the time of day. Some animals also display different behaviors during different time of the day.
When Chipper meets a new animal, kids will see the jigsaw icon on the top left corner expand and the animal added into the drawer. Tapping on the animal icon will allow you to play a 4x3 jigsaw puzzle. When you complete that puzzle, you can learn fun facts about the animal. There are 12 animals in all, including beaver, deer, skunk, and spider.
Parents Need to Know
Because the app doesn’t require you to read anything in order to know the animal facts, kids as young as two can already enjoy the app on their own. They would also be able to play with the jigsaw puzzles because the pieces are shown one at a time and hints are shown after you’re idle for a while.
Piiig Forest Explorer works great without an Internet connection. It doesn’t have any in-app purchases, third-party ads, or links to social networks. You can also switch the app language from English to any of the other languages, including Chinese, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Russian, Japanese.
Things I Like
Other than the various fun facts about animals, I like the replay aspect of the app. When you complete a jigsaw puzzle, the animal will be unlocked forever. You can replay it anytime and as many times as you like. It will even remain unlocked after you switch language.
Another detail that I appreciate is the implementation of world boundaries. Knowing that its intended audience is very young, the app uses the main character to indicate when you hit a world boundary. When the player tries to move Chipper to an inaccessible area, the Chipmunk would shake his head.
Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids offers a fun experience where kids explore a forest to meet and learn about the animals that live there. The jigsaw puzzle mechanic used throughout the app is suitable for the intended audience. It’s simple enough for kids ages 2+ to start learning about common forest animals.
App was provided for our honest review.