Developer Tribe Play has always been a favorite in our house, and their newest release, Dr. Panda’s Bus Driver is no different. Enter the virtual world of Dr. Panda and accompany him on his bus route. Children engage in this beautiful cartoon world as they travel through town as the driver of a happy yellow bus.
For iOS and Android devices!
Dr. Panda’s Bus Driver is a preschool app developed to allow children to freely explore and manipulate their own little world. As with all of Dr. Panda’s apps, children are the master of their domain. The non-linear game play allows for choices within the game and gives children the chance to do as they please as they move throughout the app.
This app begins as you become the driver of a happy yellow bus. Steer the bus from a bird’s eye view or from the driver’s seat through the winding roads of your town. Pass the volcano, go through the tunnels, curve around waterfalls, and ease over speed bumps and bridges. The scenery changes and it seems that no matter which way you go, the view is always different.
Along the way, stop to pick up passengers and give them a seat, stop at crosswalks and street lights, and choose which direction to go as you come to forks in the road. The driver also needs to stop at the gas station to fill up or stop by the car wash to go through the step by step process of cleaning up the bus. You can even paint your bus in your own unique style and turn your bus into a moving work of art.
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This app is great for the little ones. It has no written or verbal directions, simply flashing parts to show what to do next. The animation and graphics are perfectly cartoony for engaging preschoolers. We particularly enjoyed the variety of tunnels – especially the rainbow ones! The cute little characters make fun sound effects as they skip across the street or find a seat on the bus. Playing with the controls on the dashboard was also a big hit. I really liked the perspective change from driving from the driver’s seat to the bird’s eye view. While the bus doesn’t really drive off the road, children will enjoy steering it none-the-less.
The town and scenery are extensive and fun to navigate. I’ve used many of the Dr. Panda apps, and this one lives up to the developer’s reputation. I do wish there were a little more in the way of purposeful interactions. I love the car wash and the step by step interactions there. From scrubbing, to washing, to drying – each level involves the player. I wish there were a little more of that. While stopping and picking up people is fun, I really like it when the app takes it to the next level.
Overall, Dr. Panda’s Bus Driver is another great preschool app from a developer that has figured out the way to a child’s mind and heart. The free exploration and decision making of the app allow children to be themselves. The non-linear play is a really great way to let children learn by doing.
At the time of this review, there are no in-app purchases or ads and outside links are accessible from the adult menu, which is locked with a parent gate.
RRP - $2.99/£1.99/€2.69
This app was reviewed by Sarah Emerling, a mom, teacher, and technology coach. She is a self proclaimed tech nerd and is passionate about technology in education. You can follow her ed. tech. blog at The iLesson Lady.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.