With the number of app icons on my iDevices growing at a rapid rate, it’s always great to discover an app that incorporates many activities into one icon. Jan Essig‘s Playground HD 1 has done just that by combining a collection of twelve games aimed at 2-5 year olds into one convenient app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, designed by Jan and his two young children. The home screen features all of the games separated into two screens, the second half available by swiping left. The activities are educational and entertaining and contain a variety of different scenes to choose from to keep the users attention. Some also offer hints to help with solving the puzzle.
- Search - A spot-the-difference type game using two images with five differences to find in each scene
- Pairs - A memory matching game using two up to 15 pairs of cards
- Puzzle - Animal jigsaw puzzles with eight pieces in each puzzle
- Draw - (iPad only) Basic animal outlines to colour with many colour choices, three brushes and the option to save the drawing (also includes a blank page)
- Erase - Swiping a finger across the screen will erase the grey to reveal a coloured scene with hidden creatures in each
- Slide - Slide the puzzle pieces around the screen in the correct order to complete the picture
- Catch - Catch the character mentioned at the beginning as they pop up on the screen
- Remember - Tap the colours and animals in the correct sequence as it gets progressively harder
- Piano - Play an 8 key piano with the sounds of a cat, frog, cow or fish
- Collect - Follow the path to collect stars in increasingly difficult mazes
- Roll - Roll the pieces of the puzzles to make the picture complete
- Colors - Fire a coloured fish at a wall of coloured fish, matching three of the same colour to make them disappear as they move towards you
Playground HD 1 features bright, playful illustrations with adorably cute sound effects and offers a very simple user-interface appropriate for the targeted age group. It contains no advertisements or in-app purchases and my favourite feature of the app is the special parents-only section which is secured from little fingers by a tap-an-hold gesture. An adult must hold the settings icon for three seconds to activate the section which contains a timer for setting how many minutes you’d like the child to play for, 15 different languages to choose from and external links to the developers website and Facebook page and also the App Store but to open these requires holding for another five seconds.
My one any only gripe about this app is that the initial splash screen hangs for quite a few seconds and with my three-year-olds short attention span is a few seconds too long! Overall this is a positive, entirely kid-friendly app that is sure to keep them busy for as long as you allow them with the timer. Playground HD 1 is well-made with all the elements I love to see in an app for kids and is definitely worth the cost considering just how much is included in one icon. Want more games? Try Playground HD 2, ”Smart Kids Edition” – A collection of 6 games for kids aged 4-7 years!
Playground 1 Lite – Best of Edition. 12 games for kids in 1 App
by Jan Essig
Category: Games, Education, Kids, Family
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone5, iPadThirdGen4G, iPad 2 WiFI, iPadFourthGen, iPod Touch (3. Gen.), iPadMini4G, iPadFourthGen4G, iPad 3G, iPad 2 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPadMini, iPhone4S, iPodTouchFifthGen, iPod Touch (4. Gen.), iPad WiFi, iPadThirdGen
Size: 41.06 MB
Playground 1 – Best of Edition. 12 games for kids in 1 App.by Jan Essig
Category: Games, Kids, Family, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPadFourthGen, iPhone5, iPadMini, iPhone 4, iPadMini4G, iPod Touch (4. Gen.), iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen4G, iPod Touch (3. Gen.), iPad 3G, iPad 2 WiFI, iPhone4S, iPad WiFi, iPadThirdGen, iPad 2 3G, iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone 3GS
Size: 63.94 MB
Screenshots(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad(Click to enlarge)
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.