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My kids are obsessed with talking animal cartoons.  It’s virtually a rite of childhood passage dating back as long as I can remember – I can think of a particular mouse who seemed to have pioneered the genre.  While it’s pretty hilarious to watch a woolly mammoth and his cohorts escape inevitable extinction or a bunch of witty world-traveling city zoo escapees, the truth is that “real” animals can do some pretty amazing things.

GeoDash: Wild Animal Adventure is an app from the foremost authority on things that real animals do – the National Geographic Society.  While nothing can compare to an actual Nat Geo magazine, Geo Dash is a very cool way to teach kiddos about animals so they are engaged and having fun.

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Geo is a robot who is exploring two habitats – the African Savannah and the Amazon Rainforest.  He’s earning about different animals’ abilities and taking on some of their characteristics by earning spinning tokens that make Geo hop like an impala or race like a cheetah, collecting rewards in the form of pictures, fun facts, and new animal abilities.  With each new animal Geo discovers, a card is added to the collection.

Game play is easy – only tapping and swiping required.  While it’s easy enough for a preschooler, the basic tutorials are written and younger players will need help at first to learn some of the basic moves and features.  Some other portions of the game also require reading so it’s not a game that can be played entirely independently.

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Neither of my kids are able to read fluently enough to play this game on their own so the three of us sat down together and played.  They could easily maneuver Geo through the plains and the rainforest, learning about the native animals.  The fun facts and animal jokes were of particular interest – my son thought it was hilarious that ostriches can roar like a lion.

At $1.99 it costs less to download this app than it does to rent a crazy talking-animal movie from Redbox.  As an added bonus, the last upgrade of the app removed all in-app purchases.  If your kids are ready to move on to some “real” animal fun, then GeoDash is perfect.

Pros:

– Cool, “real” animal facts an jokes
– Stunning photographs enhance the playing experience
– Game play is fun and easy to master

Cons:

– Some players might need help reading

four-star

 

Price: $1.99
Age: 3+

 

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