Bottom Line: The app is free and has some potential but it will wear out its welcome with older kids very quickly.
In our family, getting a free app is like Christmas. We wait for the download to complete and, with anticipation building, unwrap our latest addition. Sometimes it is the gift we have waited all year for; sometimes it is socks; and other times the app falls somewhere in between.
As Good Core Software's Spot the Jungle Animal combines two very important elements for us, free and animals, we were excited to see how our two-year old, Madelynn, would respond to the app. She was immediately captivated by the catchy tune and bright colors.
The premise is to correctly identify a specific animal. There are four animals per screen, with a total of five screens. The female narrator is encouraging and when the correct animal is identified, the child is rewarded with a recording of the sound the animal makes. (I continue to look forward for the day when Madelynn asks her dad to make the hippopotamus sound.) At the end of the fifth screen, a little screen shows up stating “now you know your jungle animals.”
Back in the home screen, there is also a learn option where each individual animal is introduced. The child can touch the animal to hear the sound they make and hear the name repeated. As with the play option, there are twenty animals to hear sounds from. Also on the home screen is the option button, but the choices are limited to sounds and turning off and on the question texts.
There are only so many times a child will play this app. Older children who have a reasonably solid grasp on animals will breeze through the app. Madelynn initially enjoyed the interaction but by screen three her attention had waned. For her, it is because she needs more happening on the screen, more action from the animals. The only animation on the screens were waving tails and blinking eyes. The question “do you see a” specific animal flashes at the top of the screen very quickly. After several seconds the question is repeated, via a black bar across the top of the screen with white lettering, not the most eye-catching of color schemes. We also did not get very far in the learning section which is essentially just flashcards with sound.
Although a minor point, this former teacher had a very hard time believing that a Bambi-like deer would be found in the same habitat as a panda and a koala. Yes. Madelynn has no idea that these two animals are not jungle neighbors, but it caused me to pause and review where animals live.
Good Core Software has also released Spot the Farm Animal, which is also free. For a first two attempts, I think they are on the right track, but the apps need some fine-tuning and increased playability.
Keeping the question on the screen for a longer period of time, combined with more animal animations and moving the animals randomly around the screen so they appear in different places each time would increase the app's playability. For those who are sticklers for facts, categorizing the animals in the correct habitat would also be an added bonus. Adding a spelling component to the learning section would make it more entertaining.
In conclusion, this present is not the awe-inspiring one we hoped for, but is still better than socks or a Christmas sweater. At free, it's worth a look.
If you would like to download Spot the Jungle Animal please use the links provided. Thanks for your support!
This app was reviewed by Jessica Jensen, who has two Master's degrees, but still needs help with her inflexibility as to where things need to go. smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.