Zoo Playground is an Android game for kids that offers youngsters fun and educational games to familiarise themselves with the animals' names as well as teach them cognitive skills and more through the educational and fun mini games that are on offer. With professionally made English voiceovers that are clear and easy to understand, little ones can learn the names of different animals from all over the world and feed them as if they were in a real Zoo. Zoo Playground also features a coloring-in mini game and numeracy games to improve their grasp on numbers as well. Familiarising themselves with animals is a big first-step in learning for little ones, and with Zoo Playground they will learn new names, build memory skills, recognition skills and master numbers as well. So, let's go ahead and see what the Zoo Playground has to offer.
There are two versions on offer here, a free version of Zoo Playground and then a Full Version which includes many more mini games for children to play. When you download your chosen version and launch it, you'll be greeted with the fun and colorful animals right away.
Zoo Playground does a good job of locking away many of the features that you don't want your kids to stumble upon in a menu 'for parents' which needs to be held down for 3 seconds to open. However, as you can see the 'unlock full game' button is easily accessible for little ones.
You can change the voiceover from 'English UK' to 'English US' although I'm not entirely sure how much of a difference this makes overall. Exploring the Zoo comes in the form of different zones, so for instance we have The Woods with woodland animals:
There's a page of Animals from Africa as well:
Then there's something a little more cooler, the Polar regions.
And last but not least is the Farmyard, with the staple farmyard animals.
Interacting with the animals results in a reading allowed of their name, clearly so that the children can understand it, and then on top of that kids will learn more cognitive skills by being introduced to certain foods when feeding the animals.
There's a reason petting Zoos exist, it's because children learn better when they're interacting with things and learning at their own pace. Dragging an apple to an Animal is not the same of course, but for those times when a trip just isn't possible, this is certainly better than nothing.
On to the mini games, and there's a decent selection to choose from, with more available in the paid version.
Now, the trick to a fun and educational game like this is to let kids go loose every now and then and the colouring in game does just that:
For something a little more educational, there's the "Who Lives Where" game, which tests what the little ones have learned during their time in the different parts of the Zoo, and it also helps improve children's memory retention.
Essentially in this game the players need to drag the animals to the right habitat, and when they get them right, there's some solid positive reinforcement here and the animals also look nice and happy as well.
After spending quite a bit of time with Zoo Playground I can see that there's a lot on offer for littles ones and their parents, to both do together and work out on their own. It's rare that you see this amount of content in a game like this, but it's clear the developers have done their homework and made sure that their game is not only good fun, but also genuinely educational. The "Who Lives Where" game is great to help improve memory retention while the coloring game offers kids some relaxation and fun using the same sort of subject matter. The rest of the game, exploring the different environments and interacting with the animals makes it great to learn at their own pace and have a good time while picking up new names for animals, learning new food types and more.
- Speed (4/5) - Zoo Playground runs just fine, and the pacing will suit little ones whether or not they're working on their own or with their parents.
- Theme (4.5/5) - The graphics and overall presentation are a high point for the game here, as the voiceovers give the game a level of professionalism and polish, while the animated animals are friendly and appealing to little ones.
- Features (4.5/5) - There's a lot on offer here, and especially when parents purchase the full version. From being fun as well as educational, this is a great tool to get your kids off to the right start.
- Overall (4.5/5) - A solid and genuine game for kids that's more than just your usual simple fare, Zoo Playground is genuinely educational and kids can experience it on their own or with their parents.
- With the 20 different animals across different environments, there's a lot of variety here.
- Animals are friendly, animated and cute for the little ones.
- Interacting with the animals is good fun and can teach children new animal names and different food types.
- Mini games help children with memory retention and learn all about animals and their habitats.
- More languages would be nice to see.
- Guided tour around the different environments would help kids understand why certain animals look the way they do.
All-in-all, Zoo Playground is an excellent offering that has more than enough to keep kids entertained while also helping them learn something new. The mini games have clearly been put together with some thought on how children will react to them and there's a good mix between educational as well as fun there as well.