Toddler Marine Preschool – Educational Fish Games for Kids (originally called: Kids Fish Game) by Antti Lehtinen is an educational game with a cute premise. Children win three “mini game” activities per try and earn a new fish for the aquarium. Toddler Marine Preschool is free and includes three activities and allows the player to win up to three fish in the aquarium at the same time. There is an in-app purchase of $2.99 to upgrade to the full version which includes six activities and up to 46 different fish and mammals for the aquarium. The full version also includes a treasure chest that will add jewels to the aquarium.
While I like the concept of Toddler Marine Preschool, the execution still needs a little work! To begin with, if you have not purchased the extra levels, the home page shows a “shop” icon which will walk you through the in-app purchase. Additionally, there is a “more games” icon that will take the player to the app store. For a game aimed at toddlers through kindergartners, these options should be hidden away from little fingers. The bottom of the home screen allows you to change the difficulty level from Toddler to Preschool to Kindergartner and also allows parents to choose which games to include (press the little wrench and screwdriver icon). However, there is no way to shut off the music that constantly plays in the background unless you leave the game inactive and your device shuts off. In which case, when you turn it back on the music will be muted until you exit out of the game completely at the bottom of your iPad/iPhone. *A mute button was added in an update of this game.
Once you have chosen a level, you are taken to the aquarium. The aquarium is devoid of fish at the start of the game, and there is no way to save your progress. If your child is trying to get all 46 fish into the aquarium by winning games, make sure not to exit the game by accident or you will need to start from scratch! At the top of the screen is a fish icon. Pressing this will lead the player through three of the six activities.
In the free version, the games included are puzzles: match up the fish to the right space, size comparisons: choose the biggest or smallest fish and counting: tap a fish and hear “one” etc.. All the games are, of course, fish games! The full version includes a matching game: our older preschool kid’s favorite game, choose the color game: find the purple fish and guess the species game: tap the starfish.
As an adult, at first glance the activities seem too simplistic, but while watching a toddler interact with the app, it is apparent that the simplicity allows a child to focus on the activity without distraction. Our two year old player was able to drag pieces to the puzzle, choose the right animals and colors and count the fish. The activities are quick to complete and the graphics are cute and engaging for the target audience. Kids will have fun choosing their favorite fish or mammals and love trying to earn new fish for the aquarium. My two year old tester did a great job on all the toddler activities and stayed engaged throughout. The repitition of the activities helps reinforce skills with this age group.
The last step on Toddler Marine Preschool is the aquarium. The aquarium is full of moving sun rays and bubbles. The larger bubbles that float up are poppable and as you earn fish, occasionally one will appear in a bubble. The full version includes a treasure chest that you can tap open and sends an unlimited amount of precious gems flying through the air before they land on the sandy bottom. The aquarium fills up with fish as the player continues to win each three game set. Some fish and mammals will be named by tapping on them. Tapping the fish will also send them moving quickly around the aquarium for a short while. Preschoolers will like earning new fish to play with and should enjoy the interactive nature of the aquarium. I do wish there was a way to change or mute the music and save any progress that has been made in filling the aquarium with various sea life.
Toddler Marine Preschool is a cute, age appropriate game for preschoolers, the target audience, but older kids will tire of it quickly. Try out the free version with your young child to see if they like it. We would love to see a few edits and additions in a future version to help Kids Fish Game shine!
Price: Free with an in-app purchase of $2.99 to upgrade
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Seller: Antti Lehtinen