Building games have always been a hit with kids, as evident by the long-lasting popularity of LEGO and other similar toys. If your kids love to build things, and cities especially, then they’ll love this latest offering from developer TribePlay.
Called Hoopa City, it is a spin-off from their popular Dr. Panda games. The cute hippo Hoopa takes center stage in this game of constructions where kids can create their very own city for Dr. Panda characters to live in.
The Rise of a City
Hoopa City begins with a blank map on which kids can build houses, roads, trees, bodies of water, and other things. They do this by first selecting a building material on the top of the screen, then tapping on a spot on the map.
There are seven materials available, as denoted by little symbols: heart (builds hospitals), coin (builds shops), lightning bolt/electricity (builds a wind turbine), road (builds roads), brick (builds houses), water drop (makes a water puddle), and leaf (makes a flower patch). These materials can be used on their own, or combined to create different buildings.
For example, kids can select the leaf and tap on a spot to make a flower patch. They can then tap that flower patch one more time to make a tree. The tree can then be combined with electricity to make a Christmas tree, or with a road to make an avenue.
In another example, kids can use electricity on a road to make a railroad, then combine it with a road once more to make a railroad crossing. It is also possible to combine a railroad with a brick to make a train station.
Various combinations are possible, from simple buildings to complex structures that occupy multiple grids. The app doesn’t provide a list of combinations, and instead encourages kids to discover and experiment on their own. We’ve made airports, beaches, and farms during our play test, so there are plenty of objects to build all sorts of cities.
As the city grows, so does the population. Kids who have played with other Dr. Panda apps should be able to spot some familiar faces as the residents ride around town, visit shops, and even lounge at the beach.
Parents Need to Know
Hoopa City is basically a game of experiments where buildings are discovered by trial and error. However, some logic and critical thinking do apply. For example, a brick combined with electricity results in a cinema, while water combined with electricity generates a water turbine. If you’re curious about what other combinations you can make, check out our Hoopa City building combination guide.
Like other Dr. Panda apps, Hoopa City is child-friendly. It does not contain in-app purchases and third-party apps.
Things I Like
Although designed with kids in mind, Hoopa City will appeal to all ages. Older players will enjoy trying out different combinations to unlock new buildings for their city, while the young ones will enjoy watching the adorable Dr. Panda characters roam around the map.
Because the game implements a free-play concept, kids can build their city any way they like without being limited by resources or time. There’s no need to collect in-game currency to construct buildings; you can just build non-stop. The map is quite large so there is plenty of building room. It also loops back on itself so it is possible to create connecting cities.
Progress is saved automatically, so kids can take a break and come back to their city later. My gripe is that the app only has slot for one city. If your kids want to start a new one or start from scratch, they’ll have to destroy the buildings one by one. It would be great if the app introduces multiple save slots in the next update.
Hoopa City is a terrific city building game for kids. Emphasizing on discovery and experimentation, kids can combine seven basic materials to create over 50 different objects to populate their city. Older kids will like the discovery aspect of the game, while younger kids will no doubt find delight in the adorable animations. All in all, a highly recommended app.
App was provided for our honest review.
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