The LEGO Group’s LEGO DUPLO Zoo app (2012) opens with a prompt for users to choose from “watch” and “play” options. In “play” mode, Giraffe and Bunny receive an airmail package addressed to Lion during their rousing game of badminton. The friends devise a plan to deliver the package to its rightful owner. They head straight for the zoo, but after talking to several zoo animal residents, they realize they have to fly all the way to the savannah to find the Lion they’re looking for.
At various stages of their journey, Rabbit and Giraffe encounter interactive DUPLO games — assembling their own car, creating roads to the zoo, constructing a first-aid center after Giraffe gets injured, and building a bridge across a river. Other non-building activities are scattered throughout, the trickiest of which is getting Lion to wake up from his nap. My advice is to keep clicking around: like those of us who are sound sleepers, he needs more than one kind of alarm.
Activities range from simple drag-and-drops to logical problem solving. The App Store recommends this app for children ages 2 to 5, but users on the younger end of that spectrum will likely need help navigating. The friendly faced animals, surprise touch-activated animations, and silly sound effects will help to engage those youngest users. A map in the upper right corner can be used to revisit favorite scenes.
The “watch” feature offers three mini movies — starring Giraffe, Bunny, and other familiar animals from the zoo — that either play out on the cinema screen or in full-screen if you choose to tap the expand icon.
A playful score, action packed close-ups, expansive scenic spreads, and a charming narrative combine for one delightful preschool app.
Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 4.3 or later); free. Recommended for preschool users. LEGO DUPLO Circus, Food, and Train apps also available.