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Parents' Guide to

Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids

By Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 3+

Virtual forest is lovely but limited.

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This virtual romp through an adorable forest has a few nice features but doesn't have enough substance to make it last. The visuals are lovely, and gentle music underlies realistic forest sounds, though it would be nice to be able to turn the music off. Kids will likely enjoy pretending to be a chipmunk: Watching it scamper along the ground, climb up trees, and jump from stone to stone in a pond is great fun. A collection of interesting tidbits about each animal in the forest gives kids a nice but very bare-bones introduction to some of the wonders of the natural world; the vocabulary isn't quite age-appropriate and will be too advanced for a lot of kids. Once kids have cycled through all 12 animals, there's not much left to do other than keep revisiting the same places and same animal information. In addition, the puzzles that kids must complete to access each animal's animation feel out of place and don't add much to the experience. In terms of basic functionality, awkward navigation may frustrate kids as the tapping mechanism isn't totally responsive, and the chipmunk often just refuses to go to a certain location, literally shaking its head no. Improved controls, more smoothly introduced facts, and a few additional biomes would give it a longer shelf life.

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