A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn to recognize numbers, letters, colors, shapes, and categories. A narrator asks kids to pick out, for example, the number 2 from a set of numbers or a circle from a set of shapes. The written label appears on the bottom. Letters are paired with an object beginning with that letter. There's not much feedback other than whether an answer is correct. Madagascar Preschool Surf n' Slide offers a little basic preschool learning but not much helpful feedback.
Ease of Play
Gameplay is intuitive, and there are two settings so players can choose the controls they prefer.
Products & Purchases
An icon on the main page links to other apps by the developers. Also, the app is related to the movies and other Madagascar products. Kids can also use their points as coins to purchase virtual stuff on the kid-friendly Jumpstart website.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Madagascar Preschool Surf n' Slide combines an arcade-style game with a bit of preschool learning content, and features characters from the Madagascar movies. Kids steer their favorite character down a water slide; when they get to the end, they have to answer a few questions by tapping into basic recognition skills. Kids earn stickers and collect points. The stickers are used in a sticker book, and the points can be redeemed on the Jumpstart website (with a parent account/login).
Is It Any Good?
If kids are a fan of the Madagascar movies, they may like seeing their favorite characters some more here. At the same time, parents may like that the game includes some educational content. The game part is pretty simple: Kids slide a little slider on the bottom to navigate, or they can switch the setting to tilt the device. The slide is pretty straight, so even if kids don’t navigate at all, they will make it to the end, but just may miss some points.
As for the quiz at the end, it covers appropriate subjects like shapes, letters, and numbers. The shape questions are a little trickier -- some preschoolers may not have heard of a hexagon, and some of the shapes are hard to distinguish from one another (the rectangle doesn’t look that different than the square or oval from the circle, for example). Still, the app is a fun experience young fans of the movie will enjoy.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.