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Lazoo Zoo! app review

lazoo zoo menuIt’s always time to feed the animals at Lazoo Zoo! (2013). Move from habitat to habitat dishing out all sorts of delicious foods — from reasonable fare such as bananas and grapes to more ridiculous entrees such as burgers, birthday cake, and even a saxophone — to a motley crew of eleven animal residents.

The food dispenser comes equipped with fruits and veggies; after several minutes of game play, hidden foods will begin to appear. Touch to add them to your collection. And if you don’t see your favorite food items on the menu, you can create them, or any other doodles, in the available paint shop using standard drawing tools and a nuanced color palette.

Be careful which foods you offer up, though: some animals are pickier than others. The monkey’s bib will clue you in to whatever snack he’s jonesing for, while the lion scratches outlines of his choices in the sand. They have no qualms rejecting what’s been given to them.

lazoo zoo lion

Other animals incorporate parts of their latest meal into their physical features. The chameleon changes colors. The giraffe’s spots change depending on what he’s eating. And when the monkey gets too full, he grows a colorful coiffure. For extra giggles, take a chance and feed the tiny bird at the edge of the pool a few times. See what happens.

The animation offers some funny surprises and silly sound effects, both of which keep things interesting and fresh. The characters and brightly colored settings are kid-friendly and inviting.

The app is more activity than linear narrative, and with neither text nor audio instructions to speak of, it’s best just to click around until you get the hang of it. There are five fanciful play areas to explore, and once you’ve doodled a bit, you’ll start to notice your own artwork peppering the posters on the zoo walls. While our iPad 1 doesn’t support the photo booth feature, later models will allow you to take photos with the animals of your choice. Delightful gameplay best suited for users ages two and up.

Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch (requires iOS 5.1 or later); free. Recommended for preschool users.

Shara Hardeson About Shara Hardeson

Shara Hardeson is a former editorial assistant at The Horn Book Guide.

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