From candymaker to teacher, Dr. Panda has had a long and diverse career. And now, he’s back as an aspiring racer in Dr. Panda Racers. In this brand new app, kids create the car of their dreams and race against their favorite Dr. Panda characters. They also get to design their own race tracks, perform exciting stunts, and collect new parts for their cars.
Ready, Set, Race
To begin, you select a racer you want to play with. There are six characters in all, most of which should be familiar to longtime Dr. Panda apps. I love playing as Dr. Panda, but you can also choose Toto the tortoise, Meimei the cat, Ziggy the pig, Tao the dog, or the new, worm-like character.
Once you’ve selected your racer, it’s off to the garage to build your car. You can mix and match different parts to make your car as unique as possible, and paint it with different colors. You start off with a small pool of parts, and earn more parts by winning races.
The next step is to select a racetrack. You can choose a pre-made track, or create your own. Simply draw the shape on screen and choose the track type (sand, dirt, or concrete), then add obstacles such as ramps and loops.
Before the actual race, spend a quick minute at the garage to wash your car squeaky clean. You might also need to refuel and make necessary repairs if you’ve raced with the same car for a few times.
After putting on your seatbelt, it’s time to race. Use the switch on the bottom right to speed up or slow down as necessary. When you encounter obstacles, follow the on-screen instructions to safely pass through. For example, you might need to trace a line as shown, or tap the screen repeatedly.
If you win the race, you’ll get a sweet trophy and a new car part to make cooler cars. The app listing promises over 1000 possible combinations, so you can create some truly unique looks.
Parents Need to Know
In Dr. Panda Racers, you get a bird’s-eye view of the track when you’re driving. If your child is used to racing games with a first-person view, this design might take some time to get used to. Fortunately, the game is not very mechanically demanding so you can get away with less-than-precise driving. At the end of the day, the game is still fun for ages three and up.
There are no in-app purchases or third-party advertising in Dr. Panda Racers, and you don’t need Internet access to play the game. If you’d like to turn off promotional news from the developer, you can do so from the gated section for parents.
Things I Like
There’s lots of fun to be had in Dr. Panda Racers. The gameplay is indeed more competitive compared to other Dr. Panda apps, but it doesn’t feel punishing. There’s no penalty for losing a race, and you can race on the same track as many times as you want. On the other hand, winning a race is always rewarding because you get new parts for your car.
As I’ve mentioned, the game has a unique driving mechanic. Sometimes you have perform a quick action in-between the driving, whether it’s to trace a line to perform a loop-de-loop or to tap a button in order to get out of a mud pit. These are all interesting actions that also improve motor skills in younger kids.
As expected from Dr. Panda, Racers has great production value. The animation is top-notch, and I love watching the racers jump, loop, and perform other exciting stunts. I also enjoy the small details that have been put into the app, such as each character having distinct voices and personalities.
Leave it to Dr. Panda to come up with an app that kids will love. Dr. Panda Racers balances fun and creativity in an exciting racing game suitable for ages 5 and under. With a cast of familiar characters, gorgeous animation, and fun rewards, the app is a must-have for any Dr. Panda fan.
App was provided for our honest review.
About Dr. Panda
Dr. Panda develops games with educational values that help kids learn about the world. All of their games are safe and do not contain inappropriate content, in-app purchases, or any third-party advertising.
Check out their other apps we’ve reviewed:
Dr. Panda School lets kids be in charge of their creativity and imagination as they tour a virtual school filled with tons of interactive surprises. The open-ended gameplay encourages discovery and experimentation while keeping things stress-free. There is also plenty of room for storytelling as kids try out various roles from student to teacher to janitor.
Dr. Panda Firefighters is an exciting app in which kids assist Dr. Panda and friends in their fire rescue operation. As they help put out fires and clear obstacles to get to the trapped citizens, they’ll learn about the responsibility of a firefighter and the challenges they face. Great for ages 3+.