Have you or your kids ever wondered what would it look like if you could put the head of a lion on the body of an elephant? Or a dolphin's fin on a flamingo? If you have, then The Creature Garden by Tinybop is the app for you.
It's the latest in Tinybop's Digital Toys series of apps, which let kids create their own worlds. As the name suggests, the theme of the app is creature creation, and kids use their creativity and imagination to concoct their own fantastical beasts.
Create Your Own Creature
In The Creature Garden by Tinybop, kids mix and match all kinds of animal body parts to create their own unique creatures. They start by choosing the creature's body, and add heads, horns, wings, tails, ears, limbs, and more. There are over 100 parts available, so each creature can end up looking very different from one another.
Once kids are happy with their creature, they can test to see if the creature will (or won't) walk, swim, and fly. If the creature manages to pass all eight levels of each test, it gets a badge. Kids can go back and tweak their creature as necessary. When they have finished testing, they can give the creature a name and place it in the garden.
In the garden, kids can provide their creatures with food and toys as well as a place to sleep. They can also spruce up the garden with plants and decorations. As they add more creatures, more features will be unlocked, including racing tracks where kids can pit up to four creatures in a race to see who can move the fastest. There is also a breeding platform where they cross two creatures to see what new breeds they can make.
Parents Need to Know
The Creature Garden by Tinybop is easy to use and safe for kids. No reading is necessary to use the app, so even the youngest of players can join in on the fun. The app has a multi-user system, in which every player can create their own profile and save their creatures.
The app doesn't contain third-party ads and in-app purchases, and doesn't require Internet connection to use. A "More Apps" section, accessible from the main page, has protected links to the developer's other apps.
Things I Like
The Creature Garden by Tinybop is lovely app that promotes imagination, creativity and playfulness. The design of the gameplay is quite interesting in that it piques curiosity: to get your creature's body, for example, you choose from an array of colorful eggs. You won't know what you will get until the egg hatches, so it's a nice surprise.
Another detail that I found interesting was the breeding platform in the garden. Here, you can put two of your creatures side by side and the app will generate a new one with features similar to its parents. It's a subtle yet interesting way to introduce kids to the concept of heredity.
As always with Tinybop apps, the production value is top notch. The illustrations are gorgeous and the animations look lovely. My only issue was that the app felt a bit heavy on my iPad mini 2 the garden is populated with many creatures, but otherwise it's a fine app.
If your kids love imagining new creatures, The Creature Garden by Tinybop is the app for them. It's beautifully designed and packed with exciting details that encourage kids to explore, create, and play. It's also a great app to secretly introduce them to biology and physics. Highly recommended for kids and adults alike.
App was provided for our honest review.
Tinybop, Inc. is a Brooklyn-based studio of designers, engineers, and artists. They make toys for tomorrow.
Check out their other apps:
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