It’s not a storybook app like their previous releases, but a unique adventure for kids ages 3+. Combining cartoon animation and interactive exploration, the app left me pleasantly surprised at its quality.
Collect the Fossils for the Dinosaur Museum
The app begins with a cartoon animation of Bonnie the Bear, who is eager to go on her first adventure. By chance, she stumbles upon Dino Dog Doug, a seasoned adventurer willing to guide Bonnie to collect dinosaur fossils for the museum.
They will visit three different places, and try to collect four dinosaur fossils on each site. Guided by the engaging dialog between Bonnie and Doug, kids dig their way underground to collect the fossils. They can dig in all four cardinal directions: up, down, left, and right.
Shaped in a maze-like environment, the underground has up to five fossils that they can collect. Kids can keep a lookout for hints and dig claws that can help them collect the fossils faster. However, they must walk around or run through red hot rocks and lava pools quickly.
Once they have collected all the fossils, they need to crack them open and find the bones hidden within them. They then join the bones to construct a dinosaur. If they manage to do this, they will get to see the dinosaur come to life and learn more about it as they put it in the museum.
Parents Need to Know
Dino Dog offers an interactive way for kids ages 3+ to learn about dinosaurs. It’s more than just a game because it’s filled with fun cartoon animation. In fact, I’m unable to imagine the app designed in any other way.
Dino Dog uses visual cues, in-app tutorials, and excellent voice overs to guide the players. It is also available French, German, and Spanish.
My only complaint about Dino Dog is its possible technical requirement for devices with higher RAM. If you have devices with 512MB RAM, such as an iPad 2 or an iPad mini, the app will consistently crash on level Eight. I wish the developers would address this low memory issue on the next update.
Things I Like
I really like the cartoon animation included throughout the app. It makes for a great combination with the game mechanic, and is suitable for its intended audience. It never felt like an afterthought; rather, it is an integral part of the adventure.
The cartoon animation also helps convey the story quickly without having to read too much. It keeps the players on a continuous path throughout the levels, and engages them with clever dialogs.
For example, if you wait too long before start digging, Bonnie would remind you to keep your pace because she’s afraid it’s going to rain. If you follow the story until the end, you’ll find that it actually rains as soon as you’ve collected all the fossils at the first site. There are some good lessons to pick up as well, such as not throwing away your drinking water when the weather is hot in case you get thirsty along the way.
Dino Dog is a terrific app for kids eager to go on their own adventures. Kids explore underground mazes to discover fossils, assemble dinosaurs to keep in their own museum, and learn interesting facts about these prehistoric creatures. Combining cartoon animation and interactive game mechanics, the app manages a flowing storyline that will engage kids as young as three years old.
App was provided for our honest review.