A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
The game is played by tilting your mobile device in the direction you want your marble-like character icon to travel. You can adjust the tilt sensitivity if you find it too hard to keep your rolling hero under control. The other half of the game, which involves caring for pandas in a virtual pet scenario has incredibly simple controls.
Violence & Scariness
The player is represented by a little, round explorer face that rolls like a marble. Poachers are represented by pith helmets and dangerous animals are represented by similar small icons. When the player touches a poacher or dangerous animal, you hear a yelp and a bit of your health bar decreases. There is nothing visually graphic.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that by playing the lovable Panda Hero adventure game, kids can earn tokens that represent real trees that the Trees for Life charity will plant around the world. In this way, kids feel like they are helping the earth by playing. You don't need to do anything other than play the game in order to make these "donations" -- it's all automated and no further steps are necessary for the player.
Is It Any Good?
PANDA HERO is tons of fun for young kids in that it is really two completely separate games, each of which is well-made and enjoyable in its own right. The Labyrinth-like rolling maze adventure can be challenging, but never gets too hard for the young kids the app is aimed at. The way you can free captured animals (also represented by marble-like icons) and roll them along with you adds and extra element of skill and strategy. Each panda you save can then be played with and cared for in a virtual pet scenario. Coins collected in the adventure part can be used to buy toys and costumes for your pet panda. It's really quite cute. Many kids are also likely to be excited about the idea of supporting an Earth-friendly cause with the game.
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.