“Dr. Panda Town: Vacation” is the latest edition of the immensely popular free-play preschool app-based brand. This segment of the series starts off on a cruise ship, with a viewing deck, live band, rooftop pool, and much more. The game gives players the opportunity to choose where to dock and begin exploring! There are three main islands to visit and each has additional areas to discover and a specific theme—namely Antarctica, the Woods, and a Beach Island—plus an underwater coral-reef/shipwreck and a two-floor cruise-liner.
From the start of the game, it’s clear that this edition is truly a step above the rest in the “Dr. Panda” world. Upon opening the game, you are presented with the Beach Island section which includes a tiki bar, a volleyball court, an ice cream stand, and the chance to act as a lifeguard, paraglider, and deep-sea diver. Right off the coast of the island (aka the far right of the screen) is a shipwreck. If you tap on it, you will be transported into an underwater oasis of coral reefs, fish, and oysters that contain pearls.
If you board the cruise ship, you can get to the other two islands. The cold “Antarctica” type area is full of snow, ice, and adorable penguins. It gives players the chance to play ice hockey, ride a ski lift, enjoy riding on snow mobiles, snowboards, and sliding down icy mountains on inflatable tubes. There is a comfy lodge with a roaring fireplace on the far left side and on the far right there is an igloo and an ice fishing hole.
The third destination is the “Woods” which contains a tent, a treehouse, a tire swing, a slide, a barbecue area, and opportunities to partake in an action course, swing on a hammock, and go fishing. This area also features bees, a waterfall, and the opportunity to find hidden treasure in the form of an amethyst ring!
The cruise ship itself is one of the best parts of the game. The first floor contains a navigation room where players can assume the role of captain and take the wheel, navigate maps, and radio into the coast guard. There is also a buffet of food (mostly desserts), a band where you can select the music, a check-in desk, a bellhop with luggage on a trolley that can be moved about, and a dock to sunbathe. The first floor also contains a “Spa” section that includes a jacuzzi, a mud bath, a shower, massage tables, makeover tables and a seating area to enjoy tea and cake. If you venture upstairs, you will come across an absolutely awesome pool that features sprinklers, numerous floating devices, and an interactive juice bar.
Throughout the app there are a number of memorable human and animal characters and randomly placed objects and/or apparel. As a free-play game, there are no rules and players can essentially manipulate most items and elements; for example, if you tap on a seagull in god beach section, it will squawk. There are also a range of cool outfits from standard summer-wear to swimsuits and traditional Hawaiian headdresses. There are simply too many books, crannies, and surprises contained within this wonderful game to mention in a single review. Overall, this is the best “Dr. Panda” offering to date and I highly recommend it to anyone with small children.
The gender-neutral app is available on the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore. It costs $5.99 to unlock all the arenas. To learn more, visit the official Dr. Panda website.
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Meagan J. Meehan is a published author, poet, cartoonist, and produced playwright. She pens columns for the Great South Bay Magazine, Blasting News, and Entertainment Vine. She is also a stop-motion animator and an award-winning abstract artist. Meagan holds a BA in English Literature and a MA in Communication. She is also an animal advocate and a fledging toy and game designer.
Meagan is a contributing editor to Kidskintha writing on Toys, Games, Entertainment, and other topics that are happy and fun!