A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tap Zoo is a free app that lets kids build and customize their own virtual zoo, but that the game is designed so that kids have to wait a long time between purchasing animals or buildings for their zoo. Early in the game, you will only earn a few hundred coins from your zoo, but anything you want to buy will cost far more than that (example: a hedgehog is 16,000 coins). If you don't want to wait, you will need to spend real money to buy extra coins. Many animals and items can't even be bought with coins -- they need to be purchased with "stars," which are rarely ever earned within the game and almost certainly need to be purchased with real money.
- Parents say
- Kids say
Is it any good?
There are many simulation apps like TAP ZOO in which you earn money very slowly and are therefore enticed into spending real-world money to speed up the game and customize it the way you want. They're all somewhat insidious, but most of them look better than Tap Zoo. At least in Tap Birds, when you buy a bird for your virtual aviary, you get to see that bird fly around and interact with other birds. In Tap Zoo, when you buy a gorilla, you get an pre-rendered animated square with two gorillas in it and a little number 1 in the corner to show you that you only have one gorilla. When you buy another, the animation stays the same and you get a little 2 in the corner. If those two gorillas have a baby (which will hatch from an egg, by the way), you still have the same two-gorilla animation only with a little 3 in the corner. A changing numeral is not worth the time it takes to build up all the coins you need to buy these animals, and certainly not worth the real money you'd have to spend to make it happen quickly .