Dr. Panda Trucks by Dr. Panda Ltd – Review



 

What we love…

fun truck themed app which encourages kids to knock down and build new buildings

What we’d love to see…

more realistic sounds for the horns on the trucks as well as a tutorial for how to drive and maneuver some

Summary

Overall, this is a super cute construction and truck themed app that will have your preschooler and older kids building for hours.  You can knock down the building, head to the factory for new blocks and build your new creation all in moments.

Our Rating

Dr. Panda Trucks by Dr. Panda Ltd. is a brand new Dr. Panda themed app featuring 7 unique vehicles.  The app features a bulldozer, dump truck, truck with wrecking ball, army style truck which shoots cannon balls, crane, and a cleaning truck.  My son had so much fun building with Dr. Panda.  This app is full of fun – first you demolish the existing building using a variety of trucks and then the building begins.  After demolishing the building – you go over to the brick factory to get bricks to build your new building.  Then you can head for paint or go to the construction site and start building.  After you get to the construction site – you move a lever and dump the dump truck which then creates a building.  To put the finishing touches on you can head over to the door and window building to load up the dump truck.  We used the crane to move the windows on top of our newly constructed building.  When you open the app, the trucks are all neatly parked – you can either drive them from the parking lot or access them from a top menu which is accessed via swipe at the top of the screen.  I enjoyed hearing my son narrate a bit as he picked his favorite trucks and was building.  We named colors, favorite trucks and described what we were doing all while playing with the app.  It’s a great app to use your imagination with as well as practice fine motor skills.

iPad Screenshot 1

My son’s favorite part was getting bricks to build the new building.  He loved seeing them sort and organize themselves into the back of the truck.  He also liked making the different truck noises including beeps, saying “watch out” when he dumped the dump truck.  You can build up to six different buildings at a time.  My son loved scooping, pushing, building, expanding the buckets, dumping and more.  As a parent I loved the variety of buildings kids could make as well as the variety of things they could do.  The hidden surprises like the mud that made the trucks spin made my toddler smile.   His favorite truck was the street cleaner which picked up the mess.

In terms of enhancements – my toddler said the horns didn’t sound like big trucks. At times, he had a little bit of trouble navigating using the bars to move up and down the various items as they were not typical of items he usually saw.  He also wanted to make the army style truck shoot higher but neither of us could figure out how to make it do that. It would also be fun to have a variety of buildings to choose from to build rather than having the app choose.  I’d also like to be able to choose the shape of the bricks I wanted.  Another wishlist item would be the ability to navigate all within Dr. Panda apps – similar to Dr. Panda Town.

iPad Screenshot 3

The app is free with in-app purchases (IAP) for all buildings or all trucks – if your kids like the app I would suggest paying for the unlock all.  There are advertisements for other Dr. Panda apps on the splash screen.  External items are parental gated via birthday.

Overall, this is a super cute construction and truck themed app that will have your preschooler and older kids building for hours.  You can knock down the building, head to the factory for new blocks and build your new creation all in moments.  It’s a fun game to play on the fly or to entertain your kids for a longer period of time.  You can read our roundup of all the great Dr. Panda apps we have reviewed here.


Dr. Panda Trucks Dr. Panda Trucks by Dr. Panda Ltd

Price: $FREE

Clear the way for Dr. Panda Trucks! Master the machines, build funky constructions and blast them to pieces on your very own construction site!
TAKE CONTROL!
Drive and control up to 7 giant vehicles.

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.


Build With Grandpa by Fairlady Media – Review



iPad Screenshot 4

What we love…

fun building themed app that appeals to kids from toddler through early elementary school.  I loved that both of my kids could play the app and design different things.

What we’d love to see…

ability to turn off spelling words mini game – this was hard for my toddler although he liked everything else

Summary

Overall, this is a fun construction themed app that has a wide appeal to kids that allows them to design different houses from start to finish and then take a photo of their creations!

 

Our Rating

Build With GrandpaBuild with Grandpa by Fairlady Media is universal app for iOS designed to help kids with a variety of building as well as teaching them about environmental re-use as kids knock down buildings, drive a construction truck and design a new home to be built.  The app includes six mini educational games which require choice of equipment from a field, addition which items add up to x number, painting, decorating, designing a house and more!  It appeals to preschool, toddler and elementary school depending on which things your kids like to do with the app.  Skills practiced in the app include, math to number 9, literacy through reading and identifying words, design, creativity, landscaping, problem solving, cause and effect.  It also teaches skills about construction and how you go through the process of building something.  This is the 13th app in the app store by Fairlady Media and among my younger son’s favorites.

It was interesting to see my toddler play with the app – he was more into demolishing the old house and clearing the lot as well as dumping the gravel from the truck.   Since he’s only 2 I didn’t expect him to be able to do the higher level games which required addition or foundation words.  My older son on the other hand was interested in the process — and followed along with the app from start to finish and really enjoyed building a house from design to final build.  The two of them had played at various points – so my younger picked the design of the house while my older finished it up.  Both my kids equally enjoyed the different construction related video’s.  My younger son didn’t capture the idea that you could raise and lower the boom with the wrecking ball whereas my older son was much more deliberate with his actions.  To be honest, I was happy to see an app that appealed to both of them. My older son loved painting the house in primary colors and adding the windows, doors and finishing touches.  He loves doing art and design so I wasn’t surprised by this request. My older son would ask Siri if he didn’t recognize a piece of equipment used in the house and enjoyed parking the equipment after finishing the foundation.  I enjoyed both kids narrating the app and telling me what they were doing.

In terms of improvements, I wish that I could turn on and off activities that either my kids liked or disliked or were too developmentally difficult (like math for my 2 year old!) and still be able to play.  My older son would have liked a paintbrush so he could do more detail work when finishing the house up.

Overall, this is a fun construction themed app that has a wide appeal to kids that allows them to design different houses from start to finish and then take a photo of their creations!  There are no in-app purchases or advertising other than for other Fairlady Media games in the app.

Build With Grandpa
Build With Grandpa
by Fairlady Media

Category: Education, Family, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 87.81 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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Build With Grandpa

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.


Hoopa City 2 by Dr Panda Games – Review



iPad Screenshot 3

What we love…

beautiful interactive graphics, ability to have a variety of cities and building your own characters

What we’d love to see…

ability to play worlds across multiple devices, ability to “customize” and design the outside of buildings

Summary

Great app with hours of playtime, the ability to create multiple cities and have your kids experiment to bring their vision alive makes this a keeper!

Our Rating

Hoopa City 2 by Dr. Panda Games is the newest app in the collection, this app is universal and features a building theme which encourages speech, creative play and role playing depending on the activity in the city.  The app appeals to kids from preschool through elementary school, and I found myself even enjoying playing with one of my son’s cities.

My son really liked all the content in the app.  He enjoyed putting people in the buildings, role playing and switching from day to night.  He liked building his own characters as he progressed within the app.  As a mom, I liked the amount of content that was offered and the variety of options for building, playing or simply interacting with the city.   The 3D graphics are beautiful and my son enjoyed experimenting to create the different buildings and testing out combinations to see what bigger and better buildings he could make.  I loved hearing him narrate as he explained, first I do this, then I touch this and then I get this.  He also enjoyed the activities like going shopping, seeing a wedding, and even created a few different cities depending on his mood at the time.  I also loved how creative he was able to be and building the city which was in his mind to completion.  He also loved finding all the combinations and has spent many hours with me testing out the app.  A tip, Hoopa’s Building Book was great to remind us of all of the combinations that he made within the app so that we could easily recreate them.  My son loved being so creative and showing me all of the different things that he could create and even played the app during his free iPad time frequently.

iPad Screenshot 5

At times my son was sad because he wanted a city that was on my iPad or iPhone or vice versa we couldn’t figure out how to transfer the city from one device to another even though they were saved.  My son’s least favorite thing to do was fixing the wind turbines which seemed to “break” frequently – at times he tapped it too many times and would get frustrated.  My son loves art and wished that he could design the colors and shapes of his buildings – something he would have liked because he loves to do art work.

Overall, this was a fun game that both my 8 year old and I enjoyed playing with.  It has hours of playability and it can be customized to be easier or harder depending on the child that is playing with it.  It appeals to a wide variety of ages and can tap into your children’s creative side and allow you to see the different things that their imagination may bring to life.

Check out a fun video demo!

Dr. Panda Hoopa City 2
Dr. Panda Hoopa City 2
by Dr. Panda Ltd

Category: Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 162.47 MB

$3.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.


Toca Blocks by Toca Boca – Review



iPad Screenshot 5

What we love…

colorful, open ended, lots to discover and create, educational

What we’d love to see…

detailed instructions for parents, unlocked items to stay in inventory, characters to interact with objects, reset button for when characters are stuck, more objects and different shaped blocks..

Summary

Creative app with a fun spin on building blocks

Our Rating

Toca BlocksBuilding Blocks, though among the simplest of toys, provide an incredible amount educational benefit and entertainment for a child.  For parents, they are tools to encourage creativity, to develop eye-hand coordination, to teach basic math skills, and to elicit communication, just to name just a few.  For children, they are the most magical of toys that can be transformed to anything they can imagine. Toca Boca’s latest app, Toca Blocks, brings this same magic to children, digitally.

Toca Blocks is a colorful world of blocks.  The first one you see when you play includes a few items already pre-built to give you the different things you can make or do in Toca Blocks.  There are five different icons on the screen.  On the very top right is an icon with stick figures on it.  This icon allows you to find the 3 special inhabitants of Toca Blocks (more on them later).  Right below that icon is the zoom toggle that allows you to get a wider view of your Toca Block world to see where everything is.  On the bottom right is your inventory. On a completely new world, this will only contain your basic building blocks and a pink door (more on this later as well).  On the middle bottom is a round multi-colored ball that you use to scroll left, right, up, and down in your world.  On the very left bottom is a pencil icon that allow you to quickly place a string of blocks together.  Next to it is what my children like to call the eraser monster.  This creature, when chosen, eats up the blocks you put it next to.

You start with four basic building blocks.  A multi-colored block, an orange block, a red block. and a green block.  They are just plain solid blocks by themselves, but combine them and they create new blocks with special properties.  For example, a multi-colored block combined with a green block makes a blue water block, an orange block combined with a red block makes a red brick block, and a green block combined with a red block makes a gray block that crumbles when you step on it.   Every time you create a new block with two basic building blocks, it gets added to your inventory which is located on the bottom right of the screen.

Now you have a set of basic blocks and special blocks, which leads to even more block combinations!  Combine two special blocks or a basic blocks with a special block to create objects to beautify your world.  Some of the things I found include an apple (red block combined with a water block), a light bulb (orange block combined with a red brick block), a trumpet (orange block combined with a bouncy white block), and a fish (water block combined with a sticky block).  All objects you create will also be added to your inventory.  More objects can be created by combining 3 blocks in a specific order. You can even create something by combining two of the same basic colored block with a special block if you sequence it as follows: basic block A – special block B – basic block A.  As you can see, it can take quite some time and thought to see what new objects can be made.   I’m not sure if I have discovered all there is to create!  Sometimes the result of combining blocks simply results in  block that combines the colors of both blocks and contains the same property as the special block.  These color combination blocks are not included in the inventory.

Toca Blocks is inhabited by 3 characters with special powers.  There is a red character that looks like a bear with fantastic climbing skills.  There is a green character that my kids think looks like a cat that has the ability to destroy blocks by smashing them.  There is a black character that looks like a bird who is fast and can somewhat fly. These characters will help you discover how each block works and help you explore your world.  You can guide them with your finger, or you can bring up the controls by tapping on a character.  The controls include left and right button to direct the character’s movements and a green jump button. Jumping can help the characters  get out of sticky situations.

I mentioned earlier that in your inventory you will find a pink door.  When your character goes in front of the pink door, an icon pops up.  Clicking on this icon will make your character enter the door and be teleported to another room or world.  You can also turn this world into whatever you wish.  You can return back to your original world by going through the door again.

My children enjoy Toca Blocks and have been creating all kinds of structures and worlds with it.  They love discovering what combing different blocks would do and what each block does.  They also enjoy seeing how the different characters interact with the blocks.  They have suggested a few things for future updates and I wholeheartedly agree with them.  First, they would like a “reset” button for the characters so that if they end up falling down far they can quickly get the back to the top with just a click of the button.  Second, they would like to see the characters interact with the objects.  Currently, most objects are just for decoration.  Third, they would like to create more objects and different shaped blocks.  Finally, they would like to have all of the items in the inventory to stay inventory when creating a new world instead of having to start all over from scratch. It can be tedious to combine things all over again to get them in the inventory.

Toca Blocks comes with very minimal instructions.  As a parent, I would have appreciated a detailed instruction including a list of blocks and their properties, a list of block combinations and objects they create, explanation about the characters, hints, and tips.  I would like to have this in the parent section so that if our kids need help we can provide it for them easily.  I believe parents are a good judge of how much and how little assistance our children need.

Toca Blocks can be enjoyed by the youngest child for simple block building to the oldest child (including adults) for more complex building and landscaping.  There is of course no substitute for the classic toy blocks, but Toca Blocks makes an excellent alternative.  It takes patience to figure it all out, but I highly recommend it.


Toca Blocks
Toca Blocks
by Toca Boca AB

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 93.55 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.

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