I’m always delighted to find a new company that makes apps for preschoolers. I’m doubly delighted when that company makes good apps for preschoolers (believe me, there are plenty who don’t). The latest company I’ve discovered is Avokiddo. The company has developed six apps (Thinkrolls is great), but the latest is DNA Play, and that’s the one we’re taking a look at today. DNA Play was released on October 23. Here’s the scoop.
DNA Play is a game that tries to simplistically explain DNA to preschoolers and early elementary students. The gameplay involves creating body parts of monsters one-by-one by solving a series simple puzzles at the top of the screen. First you create the body. Then you create the head, and so on and so forth. The puzzles involve dragging blocks from the bottom of the screen into the appropriate place on the top of the screen. Basically it takes the term “the building blocks of life” literally. The puzzle you’re completing is a series of vertical bars on the top of the screen. Once all the vertical bars are finished. The monster will have the body part that the puzzle corresponds to. You can then drag the bars back and forth, essentially rearranging them to get slightly different versions of that body part.
This brings up one thing that I found problematic with the game. After you complete the puzzle for one body part, the game automatically moves you to the next body part, so it’s not immediately clear that you can move around the bars for previous body parts.
After your monster is complete, he’ll have some type interactive experience. These include things like spiders that can be clicked to the scare him, or a disco ball to make him dance. The monsters are cute and putting them together piece by piece provides a basic concept of DNA, but I doubt that kids will actually learn anything without the help of an adult. But I think that’s the way the game is designed, which is a good thing. Getting parents to play games with their kids and take that opportunity to teach is a wonderful thing.
DNA Play costs $2.99 and does not include any third party advertising and there are no in-app purchases. An ad for other Avokiddo apps will appear at the bottom of the start screen.