Goodnight Safari is a soothing and lovely app for iPad that allows children to interact with animals found in Africa’s Savannah, helping them with various bedtime routines, ultimately seeing that these animals go to sleep.
Six animals who need help from readers in performing nighttime activities are included, like helping a a young hippo take a bath or a monkey climb to bed, and I admire how each baby animal is being attended to by an adult animal - presumably their mom or dad.
The interactions are engaging but can also be challenging to understand exactly where to touch to trigger the animations, and it is potentially confusing that interactions must be played through multiple times to complete a task, allowing readers to continue to the next page, although older preschool ages children may really enjoy this aspect, making these interactions more involved than a simple tap or drag.
Help is available for those who need it, showing readers where to touch, but these hints are slow to be offered, and it would be nice if a mode were available where these hints were offered as soon as the page is turned for younger readers. Parents may want to familiarize themselves with this app before first showing this app to toddlers to expedite the experience at bedtime, but I do believe that this charming app could be their animal lover’s new favorite bedtime activity if help could be offered for young children to feel successful at these interactions.
Other subtle hotspots can be found on each page such as being able to shake distant trees or animate other animals. Do look for them.
The look of this app is wonderful, with lush textures and details that bring these animals as well as the Savannah to life. I appreciate how as one proceeds through these scenes, the sun starts to set and these landscapes darken with a lovely conclusion that has these animals sleeping together under a full moon and the sound of crickets filling the air, this pleasing sound to be heard throughout this app.
Very nice and relaxing narration is also included, and reading this app to oneself is also an option. A menu of pages is available - always a nice touch. My only note is that the baby zebra is hard to differentiate from the adult, as after the animation is triggered, it becomes obvious that the baby must run to its parent in the distance. Only then can the size difference be seen. I would love to see the baby noticeably smaller even before this interaction is triggered.
Children will enjoy helping their new animal friends get ready for bed, but with only six scenes, this app is a little on the short side.
For some parents, this is a perfect length as I am always looking to find shorter bedtime apps for when it is late and my son really needs to be getting to bed, but it may also be nice if a new more animals could be added in a future update.