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Animals: educational kids game

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Find Them All: Looking For Animals is a charming and creative app aimed at teaching younger children about animals, a well-known favourite among kids. Users go through a guided series of activities in well-designed and attractive levels, with potential to go back and learn more later on. Further levels must be purchased in-app on a level by level basis, and this app is definitely more fun than strict education, but for a 5 year old that can’t be much of a drawback. This app has received an EAS Certification of 5 Stars.

Teacher Review

Find Them All: Looking For Animals is a genre-spanning educational app aimed at younger children. Part game, part reference aid, this app teaches children about their favourite animals from the farm to the savannah.

On opening the app, the user is met with a smiling sun. The sun offers a polite “hello” and tells the user that they, the sun, can offer them assistance if the user taps them. This is accompanied with a human recorded voice, though it has been modulated to sound higher pitched. On tapping the sun it gives instructions on how to use the main menu. The main menu is made up of a series of levels, of which initially only the “Farm Animals” level is available; the others may be purchased in-app.

Going into the “Farm Animals” level, the level is made of a 2d environment which the user can scroll through by scrolling across the screen. To begin with, only a small section of the level is available to the user. The sun chimes in, asking you to find an animal, for example, a lamb. The user can find the animal by scrolling through the level, and tapping on the lonely lamb they find in the middle of the field. After tapping on the lamb, a little card comes up with an animated portrait of the lamb, the word “Lamb” underneath, and a little circular tab in the corner with the UK flag on it. Scrolling this will reveal further flags, along with the name of the animal in that native language. These languages include French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean, and are all helpfully repeated by the sun-guide.

Not yet sated, the sun asks the user to find the next animal, and then the next. After a certain amount of animals, the sun informs the user that a new part of the level is open for them to explore, and an arrow appears on the screen, further guiding you to your new destination. As more animals are found, a picture of a camera at the top of the screen, acting as a gauge, begins to fill. Once the gauge is filled, the app opens up with new functionality. Animals fill the once sparse level, and the camera becomes a usable item. As the sun informs you, tapping on the camera will allow you to take photos. From the camera screen, the user can zoom in and out, move around the level, and take photos of specific animals or groups of animals. On taking a photo the sun will give the user an interesting fact about the animal whose likeness they have captured, and then inform them that the photo has been added to their photo album.

Each level comes with a card library and a photo album. The card library contains the cards collected throughout the level by tapping on the animals they have found, and the photo album contains any photos taken. By looking through the card library, it becomes clear that the sun hasn’t taken you through every animal they have to offer just yet – in fact, tapping on the camera symbol at the top of this screen will take you back into the action with even more features. The user is now free to go through and discover even more animals throughout the scene, and may also come across an animal with question marks above their head, or a cameraman pointing their camera at an animal.

Snapping a photo of an animal with a question mark over their head begins a photo quiz, where a real life photo of the animal is hidden behind a number of quiz questions which may be as simple as counting how many animals the user sees in a photo, ranging to questions about the nature of a certain animal. Answering these incorrectly doesn’t penalise the user too harshly, and simply means trying again with another question. Answering all of these questions correctly, reveals the photo, and as the sun will inform, the user can now shake the device to turn this photo into a jigsaw puzzle. This serves no real educational purpose, but is added fun value, and one of the most novel ways I have seen mobile motion sensing used. Shaking the device for longer results in a jigsaw with more pieces, and this works really smoothly.

Tapping on one of the cameramen strewn across the landscape will provide the user with a real life video of whichever animal the cameraman was looking at, which comes through clean and crisp, and is then added to the user’s photo album. This replay value is further developed by promising the user a special surprise if they find all of the animal cards and if they take at least 12 photos, however, I won’t spoil the surprise here.

The illustrative style of the app is very appealing, and the app feels very smooth to use. The voice guidance is very helpful throughout the app, and the contextual nature of it works very well, only appearing when the user needs it and not too often. This is also good, because to the average user this modulated voice may sound a little creepy, but I’m sure we all remember kids TV shows... There is a good mix of educational content, especially for the target age group, and the settings have a very simple but effective parental lock – to gain access, an adult must solve a (hopefully) simple maths problem.

That being said, while there is a lot of content, some users may find that there is more of a skew towards fun than towards learning. In addition to this, while the app helped me through the majority of the content, it took me some time and experimenting to find how to use late-game features such as the photo quiz. It’s possible that I missed a helpful bit of sun guidance, but in some cases once that hint is gone, it’s hard to find it again. It might be useful to have a separate section containing all of the tips and instructions given throughout the app for the user to refer to later.

However, the above two are the only real criticisms of the app. While I am not a 5 year old child (believe it or not), I found the app to be very engaging, and the gamer in me drove me to get all the way to the end and find as much content as possible. And while the idea of paying for each additional level may be off-putting, there is definitely enough bang for your buck. A top class app to keep your younger children engaged and entertained.

Screenshots

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From the Developer

"Find them all: looking for animals" is an educational game for KIDS FROM 2 TO 8 YEARS which offers them the opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat (farm, savannah, desert, etc.).

★★★★ The most complete educational game about animals ★★★★

✔ 144 animals from 5 continents (Africa, Asia, Oceania, North America, South America and Farm)
✔ Names in 7 languages
✔ Calls,animated pictures, cards, photos and now videos!
✔ Over 200 audio commentaries
✔ It’s kid’s play: find the animals, take photos of them, create puzzles, win prizes etc.

★★ Optimised for kids ★★

✔ Assistance and instructions are spoken
✔ Simplified interface
✔ Multi-user: all kids can have their own account and settings.
✔ No advertising and parental control

★★ Educational features ★★

✔ Learn the language
✔ Explore foreign languages
✔ Concentrate and stay focused
✔ Solve puzzles

★★ The game step by step ★★

✔ "Where is ...": only one animal is present in the scenery: the child has to scroll to find it. A "bobble head" type card appears.
✔ "Take a photo": when all the animals have been found, the child wins a camera.
✔ "Night is falling...": the child has to touch as many animals as possible before nightfall.
✔ "It's night time, only the animals eyes appear...": the child has to find the remaining animals with the help of a torch.
✔ "Make a jigsaw": the child is able to make jigsaws with the camera (4/6/12/20/42 pieces).
✔ "the Photo Quiz": the child answers a series of questions in order to win new photos!
✔ Cameraman: find him to see video clips of animals!
✔ "Game over": the child is able to play again and find other animals in a different environment.

★★ Other functions ★★

✔ The Card album contains the cards which have been released during the game.
✔ The Photo album contains all the photos taken during the game. Therefore, the child is able to try the jigsaws again.
✔ Discover educational information about animals by taking photos!
✔ Listen to the animals' name in French, English, Spanish and German.
✔ Rewards: printable booklets

★★ Farm animals ★★

✔ List of farm animals: bee, donkey, lamb, duck, cat, horse, goat, dog, pig, cockerel, turkey, frog, owl, rabbit, sheep, goose, magpie, foal, hen, chick, fox, mouse, tortoise, cow.

★★ Animals of Africa ★★

✔ List of african animals: lion, lioness, meerkat, cheetah, hyena, ostrich, okapi, elephant, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, crocodile, springbok, greater kudu, camel, fennec fox, cobra, oryx, gorilla, chimpanzee, baboon, flamingo.

★★ Animals of Oceania and Australia ★★

✔ list of Oceanian and Australian animals: echidna, kiwi, bat, cassowary, ibis, red crab, green turtle, humpback whale, dolphin, dugong, manta ray, sea lion, monitor lizards, saltwater crocodile, kangaroo, emu, Wombat, Tasmanian devil, koala, cuscus , platypus, frill-necked lizard, dingo.

★★ Animals of Asia ★★

✔ List of asian animals: tiger, panda, red panda, Asian elephant, Indian rhinoceros, orangutan, proboscis monkey, red-crowned crane, snow leopard, saiga, clouded leopard, bactrian camel, yak, gharial, Malayan tapir, water buffalo, pangolin, peafowl, sun bear, caracal, hornbill, langur, python, tarsier.

★★ Animals of North America ★★

✔ List of north american animals: mustang, bison, coyote, rattlesnake, vulture, prairie dog, roadrunner, pronghorn, black-tailed jackrabbit, grizzly, moose, raccoon, skunk, puma, bald eagle, bighorn sheep, mountain Goat, wolverine, polar bear, arctic fox, snowy owl, seal, walrus, beluga.

★★ Animals of South America ★★

✔ List of south american animals: Amazon river dolphin, anaconda, armadillo, caiman, capybara, chinchilla, coati, condor, giant anteater, iguana, jaguar, lion tamarin, llama, macaw, maned wolf, mara, ocelot, red-eyed treefrog, rhea, scarlet ibis, sloth, spectacled bear, spider monkey, toucan.

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