Parents' Guide to

Save the Park

By Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Great cause to support, but tedious endless runner.

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This app has a great goal: Get kids intimately involved in the national parks and show them how beautiful and interesting the parks are. Nice graphic postcards and fun facts help kids appreciate these natural wonderlands. If they visit the National Park Service website, they can learn about volunteering and helping to preserve the parks. The types of tasks these virtual rangers need to perform also give kids an idea of the many ways humans are involved in running the parks, keeping the plants and animals healthy, and managing visitors. Unfortunately, during the review period, the game quit several times, and actual gameplay leaves quite a bit to be desired. Kids may quickly lose interest, as each level is virtually identical: Run through the items to collect, avoid the obstacles. From level to level, the items to collect are often the same, and connections to actual park tasks are only symbolic since the gameplay is always the same. The game would be so much more meaningful if there were actually some way to "collect" soil samples or really "take pictures" of park visitors, rather than simply running through a pile of dirt or a person. So, while the app is free and has some nice features showing how beautiful our national parks are, it's unlikely kids will be impressed with the game itself.

App Details

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