Dinosaur Train Camera Catch! is a novel interactive game that allows children to practice pattern awareness, based on the popular PBS kids’ show, Dinosaur Train.
This app includes a nice effect of allowing players to look into the screen to see dinosaurs flying – not just around a specific page, but a full 360 degrees around the player as children twist and turn around to see these dinosaurs as they fly. At the top of the screen, one will see a pattern of dinosaurs that needs filling in with other dinosaurs to complete these patterns. To do so, place the correct dinosaur in the camera’s cross hairs and snap a photo with the tap of a finger, completing the pattern.
Eight sections that increase with difficulty are completed before children win a prize that can be downloaded at pbskids.org such as a coloring page which can be printed.
This app will do a nice job of engaging children who enjoy taking photos, and I like that this app allows children to get up and move around a bit while not needing to run off with one’s iPhone. It is also nice that the photos taken are saved in a gallery to be looked at later.
I like the educational component not only of teaching about patterns but the problem-solving that children must consider as the dinosaurs fly around and off screen, encouraging children to turn the correct way to follow them or spin to the other side to capture their image as they fly back around.
It would be nice, however, if the background used within these levels varied somewhat, especially as the ability to see a landscape at 360 degrees is unique within itself. I would love to see more interesting details included – maybe just for fun – that kids can take photos of as well.
Although I enjoy the incorporation of printable extras from pbskids.org, I think kids may feel let down at the delayed gratification they must endure as these pages for the most part will not be printed in that moment – an issue for children whose target age is that of this app, as these children may expect to see something akin to a collectable sticker or a short video clip instead of a code for parents to redeem later.
I also have noticed that although the patterns one works through in these eight levels are nice choices to teach pattern recognition, after these eight levels, one starts back at the beginning of this app to work on the basic levels all over again. I wish there were more levels to experience before starting back at the beginning of this application.
This app has won the dubious distinction of being the first application to make me feel dizzy during game play as players need to turn around – preferably standing – to capture the images of these flying creatures. Children, on the other hand, seem to have a higher tolerance for spinning around in circles. Because of this, however, this app is not a great choice when children are strapped into their car seats, strollers or at other times when moving around is not possible or allowed – an issue my son has faced himself. I would love to see a mode where children can see all the dinosaurs from which to choose from a seated position, possibly being able to look up at the sky or down to the ground to photograph dinosaurs running as well.
Having said this, I do enjoy the unique way one captures dinosaur images to complete these patterns, and I like that kids need to think both about the pattern they are completing as well as lining up these flying creatures in their viewfinders. I think children will get a kick out of this unique photo app, especially those who are fans of this show like my son is, but it would be nice to have some more variety in general within this application.
Dinosaur Train Camera Catch!
Developer: PBS KIDS
Released: 2011-11-25 00:00:00
Description from the DeveloperWe’re looking for an ace photographer to take pictures of our flying dinosaurs. It takes a real pro to catch these dinosaurs in just the right pattern we need. Here’s how it works: Find the next flying dinosaur in the pattern by moving your iPhone around. When you have the desired dinosaur in your viewfinder, “catch” it with your camera button! You’ll advance to more challenging patterns with each new round of play.
When you’re finished, you can see all of the dinosaur photos you’ve taken in your private gallery. Players who complete all of the rounds successfully also win a code for a special prize they can unlock on pbskids.org!
p.s. Grown-ups, this game may require you to spin around and make you dizzy. Better leave this one to the serious Dinosaur Train fans, okay?
ABOUT DINOSAUR TRAIN
DINOSAUR TRAIN airs weekdays on PBS KIDS. The TV series encourages basic scientific thinking skills as the audience learns about life science, natural history and paleontology. The program features Buddy, an adorable preschool age Tyrannosaurus Rex, and his adoptive Pteranodon family as they board the DINOSAUR TRAIN and embark on whimsical voyages through prehistoric jungles, swamps, volcanoes and oceans. Visit the series website at http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain.