Dr Panda’s Veggie Garden is an Android and iOS game aimed squarely at the toddler and parent market. The game which is part of a larger Dr Panda series lets the child grow vegetables and fruits and is from developer TribePlay. There is a free version limited to 5 mini-games and a full version with 30 games and 12 vegetables and fruit.
Dr Panda’s Veggie Garden consists of a number of of mini games all centred around gardening and growing fruit and vegetables. The game starts with a customer coming to Dr Panda’s farm and requesting a particular sort of fruit or vegetable. The player is then taken through the process of preparing, planting growing and harvesting.
Once your little one has grasped the basics of how to play they will be in an endless loop of customers and growing with no end and this is part of the attraction. There are no decisions to be made, rather a single path that they cannot help but follow. The mini-games are simple to grasp and generally true to life and educational.
The graphics are cartoon like and friendly and the soundtrack is catchy with simple special effects noises. There are no adverts in game and no easy way for the child to exit the game apart from the home button.
Dr Panda’s Veggie Garden’s weakness appears when it comes to repeatability. There are only 30 mini-game steps and 12 different types of fruit and vegetable. Many of these can only work in particular combinations so there is a relatively limited number of actions your toddler can take. In my daughter’s case this meant that she was enthralled for the first few days but has gradually lost interest in it after about a month. Tribeplay are releasing new Dr Panda titles fast enough for this to not be an issue, but while the series may be a long term favorite the individual titles may not be.
The second problem with the title is more of technical one. Many of the minigame steps involve tapping at a particular point or moving your finger in a circle and some of the hit boxes do not seem to be particularly well aligned with the on screen graphics. In other words the tablet thinks you should tap at one point and the actual point may be up to an inch off. None of the misses seem to be more than an inch or so and it is possible that this is device specific, but it did cause us some problems.
Dr Panda’s Veggie Garden is very accessible if you have photophobia, motion sickness, blurred vision, visual loss or a colour vision deficiency. It has almost no flicker, flash or other bright visual effects. “There are some minimal motion sickness triggers. The menu system and UI is well designed and uses large text against a low/high contrast background, making it easy to use for players with a visual impairment. In-game elements are easy to discern on default settings. There is no reliance on colour alone.
There is no subtitles, but there is no dialogue either. Audio cues are an optional extra, and always accompanied by a visual counterpart. Dr Panda’s Veggie Garden can easily be played without sound.
Dr Panda’s Veggie Garden is very accessible for anyone with a physical impairment. It does not need quick reflexes and instant reaction times. A moderate level of precision is needed which is exacerbated by the hitbox issues. The controls employed by Dr Panda’s Veggie Garden are easy to use. It can easily be played with one hand. The controls are relatively easy but need gestures but not multi-touch.
Dr Panda’s Veggie Garden is very accessible for anyone with cognitive issues. The language used is preschool level. Text is in an easy/difficult to read font and format and on a timed display/can be read at own pace with a button press activating the next part. Writing is not required at any point. There is little to no reliance on memory. Dr Panda’s Veggie Garden has no mathematical requirements. The game menu and mechanics are easy to master. Only one difficulty setting is available.
- The in game Promotion screen can be turned off. When switched on this allows access to a Play Store listing of TribePlay’s other games on the home screen. This is the only advertising of any sort in the game.
- Subscribe to TribePlay newsletter. This will give notifications on new Dr Panda apps and updates to older titles.
- Sound effects On or Off
- Background music On or Off
Dr Panda’s Veggie Garden is an excellent title for toddlers and is nearly exactly what I want as a parent. It is simple, has an educational underpinning and has no clear start or finish point allowing the child to be entertained for as long or short a time as is necessary. The game just avoids being perfect by being limited in the number of minigames and the hitbox issues. All in all if you have a toddler this game should be on your tablet or phone, they will love it.
[stars rating=”4″ type=”Game”]