Dash and Ditto’s Playground Review

Posted by Amy Solomon on October 4th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Dash and Ditto’s Playground is a lovely and sweet app containing seven games that kids will enjoy, both classic as well as games developed specifically for this app.

With original hand-drawn illustrations and relaxing music, this app is engaging while also having a calming influence on the children who play these games.

Hopscotch, like the name suggests, is a variation on the classic kids' games, here with the flick a finger, one tosses the ball in order to land on the numbers 1-10 in order. As with all the games within this app, this section has a lovely bunny theme, as Dash and Ditto - the bunnies starring in this app - are found doing cute things within these fun and simple games. Here, players are rewarded with each correct toss of the ball with Dash, the white bunny, jumping hopscotch the way only a bunny could, as well as added illustrated confetti and the praise from the child narrators who also give spoken prompts on how to play this game - a nice touch.

Also included is a jump rope section where Dash and Ditto turn the rope for various animals who take their turn at jumping with a well-timed tap of the screen. It is cute to watch the other bunnies of different colors play on the swings and seesaw in the background, adding richness to this cute motif.

Another activity included features baby bunnies that one can interact with using a tap of a finger. Here, a touch of the screen sends Dash to open the door to the rabbit hutch, letting the bunnies loose. Tap a bunny and choose an action - specifically feed, cage, or play. Send the bunny over to the carrots in the garden to eat, a tap of the cage button sends the bunny back into the hutch to take a nap, and one can have the bunny dance as well. This is a nice, open-ended area that kids will enjoy.

A mini golf section is included where one flicks a finger to move a ball through a simple mini golf course, with an emphasis on getting the ball into the hole on one try, but it is nice that players are rewarded with dancing bunnies, confetti, and other pleasant, congratulatory sounds. I enjoyed this section, but I do with there was more than one course offered.

Tic tac toe is also included where players attempt to get three in a row before Ditto. Game play is as one would expect here, and it is cute how X’s and O’s used here are two carrots positioned into a cross and an apple - a nice touch. This section is a good choice for kids who are new to this game as Ditto is more concerned about his completing his three in a row and not blocking the player, so this game remains light and easy, with a nice difficulty level for young players.

An original game, Bus Driving is one of the more complex sections offered. Here, players must drive a bus, and with the use of an illustrated photo of an animal friend, stop the bus at the side of the road when the friend is found. Game play is simple here, with a green button used as speed and ignition and a red button to stop the bus and make pickups, but it does require some focus to use the photos to match animal friends to pickup. After ten friends are collected, the player is rewarded with a charming animation that kids will enjoy.

Carrot Race is a whack-a-mole-style game. Here, tapping the carrots as they first appear shooting up from the ground before a gopher takes them. This game has the most arcade elements within the bunch and is a good choice for hand-eye coordination. I did find this section a little glitchy when I played by myself, as my near-bionic ability at whack-a-mole allowed me to play this game much faster than this app was intending. After I reached 100 carrots, only the first two digits showing "10" appeared on the screen, among some other issues, but I don’t think that most children will reach the speed I needed to get to before the glitches began happening.

I appreciate the use of both narrated and written instructions at the beginning of this game as well as the use of spoken prompts used throughout to help and encourage players, and it is always nice to be able to turn off the sound effects or music here at will and separately. A choice to move between these scenes is also an option, but I never figured out how this works - not a big deal as one can easily go back to the home page to make a selection.

The games included here are all cute and fun, as are Dash and Ditto themselves.

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Dash & Ditto`s Playground screenshot 1 Dash & Ditto`s Playground screenshot 2 Dash & Ditto`s Playground screenshot 3 Dash & Ditto`s Playground screenshot 4 Dash & Ditto`s Playground screenshot 5
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