All Aboard the Dinosaur Train! is a fun game for iPad based on the hit PBS show of the same name.
The concept of this game is simple, as one fills the different passenger cars up with different sized and shaped dinosaurs that are running around in the foreground of this application.
One fun element of this app is how players need to first catch the dinosaurs as they run randomly across the page, then dragging and dropping them to the train car that they will fit best in.
Five levels are included, each with its own conductor-themed reward that one collects such as a whistle, flag or conductor’s hat. When these levels are complete, one will be further rewarded with a link to pbskids.org to download and print out a special prize as well.
My son loves dinosaurs, my son loves trains, and my son also enjoys watching the show Dinosaur Train. It is nice to see him enjoy this app as well, as he has a lot of fun trying to chase the dinosaurs, grabbing with a tap and dragging them to waiting trains.
My four year old also really enjoys matching the dinosaurs to the correct size train. On more advanced levels that include a few dinosaurs, this game has a nice level of challenge for him as it may be easy to spot a dino that is too big, but creatures too small will not work either. I also enjoy seeing him line up the dinosaurs to find that a head or tail is sticking out the train or too much space is left behind, he drops one dinosaur for another.
My boy has also taken to playing the two player game by himself as this doubles the dinosaur train cars one needs to complete the train, adding more to do in each round.
I also appreciate that while playing, the total amount of dinosaurs that ultimately fit within this train as a whole changes, creating a fun, be it chaotic scene with dinosaurs running amuck all over the page styled like a train platform.
After playing a few rounds, my son has developed a strategy for this game as he checks the board for the smallest and largest dinosaurs, leaving them for when the corresponding train cars are needed to be filled, also developing an understanding about which of the middle-sized dinosaurs are actually bigger or smaller, aiding in his ability to fill these train cars with ease.
I am also a fan of how the conductor sometimes gives hints to the correct dinosaur one is looking for, such as smaller or bigger. I wish these clues were given after each wrong answer as sometimes a less helpful “try again” or “not this time” is spoken instead.
As an adult, I do wish this app had more variety, both in game play as well as in appearance, wishing each level had a different train station setting or different-looking dinosaurs for an increased visual interest instead of simply adding more cars to the mix.
It would also be nice to hear dinosaur information such as their names or size when entering the train, and a few more levels and longer trains would make this app more content-rich as well - not a huge concern of my son’s as he is happy to start from the beginning when each level has been completed.
Even with my included notes, I can say that my son finds this application fun and engaging. Time will tell if my son continues to be as enamored with this app as he is now, seeking this specific app out when getting his hands on our iPad, but I do think toddlers or those in preschool who like dinosaurs, trains, or the PBS show of the same name will enjoy this application.