Review: Preschool Adventure comes up “short” - Macenstein

Review: Preschool Adventure comes up “short”

While many people who do not have kids may scoff at the idea of handing over their $199-$599 iPhone to a 2 or 3 year old, I have found (with my kids at least) even very young children quickly learn that “Daddy’s iPhone” is very fragile, and we must be very careful with Daddy’s iPhone, and if we drop Daddy’s iPhone Daddy will cry. So it is not surprising to me that a bunch of preschool themed edutainment titles have begun popping up on the iTunes store. One such title is the slick-looking “Preschool Adventure“, and application that has the potential for greatness, but that falls far short.

Ordinarily I would not bash a 99¢ application designed to amuse a 2 or 3 year-old, but when I noticed that Preschool Adventure has a 4 star rating on iTunes with nearly 90 reviews, I felt I needed to throw out a word or two of warning.

First, let me say the game is visually very cute, and the graphics and sound effects are all done very well and have a definite “Baby Einstein” vibe. From the main menu children can choose to “learn” about either “Colors”, “Shapes”, “Body”, or “Sounds”. Clicking on any of those 4 subjects will bring up a scene where children can click on various elements, and a very kid-friendly narrator will tell them what they have clicked – for example, “Green Sea Turtle”. All very cute.

So what’s wrong with it?

Above: Preschool Adventure’s load time is one of the longest aspects of the game.

Preschool Adventure is too short, and not too short as is “Awww, this is awesome, and I wish I could play longer” too short, it’s just too short. My 4-year old (admittedly older than the target audience) saw everything there is to see in just about 1 minute. I took the game to my 2-year old niece, who quickly picked up the idea of the game (a good sign of the game’s design) however she too grew tired of the game after a few minutes. In fact, if it weren’t for the 10 second load time, both children would have been done even sooner.

The problem, as I see it, is there is little to no replayability here. Many of the edutainment titles we have bought over the years that have our kids coming back time and again have humorous elements of surprise or little Easter eggs that encourage a child to come back. For instance, in the “Colors” section, if you click on the green sea turtle, a voice says “Green Sea Turtle”. If you click on it again, a voice says “Green Sea Turtle”. Hours of fun, right?

In most other kids games, repeated presses would cycle through maybe 5 or so different actions – maybe the turtle would pull his head in his shell, maybe he would dance, maybe the would say “Hey kid! Stop pressing on my shell!” – the point is, he would do something. In fact, there are no bonuses or hidden things for kids to discover in any of the games, unless you count that the sun and cloud in the “Sounds” game will make a sound when clicked, and not just the animals.


Most parents will be buying this game for 1 (or both) of 2 reasons – either you want your kid to learn, or you want your kid to be quiet. Unfortunately, kids learn best (and stay quiet) when they are having fun, and this game does not offer enough fun or creative discoverable elements to keep the kids coming back for more.

As a parent, there are times when you would pay almost anything to get a few minutes of silence from your child, and in that respect, the 99¢ Preschool Adventure may be an attractive buy, however a few minutes is all it will get you. Odds are unless the developers release an update with more levels or some cycling animations, your kids will not be begging to borrow your iPhone anymore – at least not to play this game.

Price: 99¢
Pros: Very cute visuals and sound effects
Cons: Extremely short, not “funny” enough to keep even little kids coming back for more

8 Responses to “Review: Preschool Adventure comes up “short””
  1. Gussy says:

    It would also be good if they could spell according to regions as well. I know that Color isn’t spelt like that in other parts of the world. Just a small thing, but something a kid will sub-consciously learn.

  2. Frogmella says:

    Spelling? Maybe Macenstein could learn some of that. “Preshool”… ahem!

  3. blueMacGroup says:

    “Review: Preshool Adventure comes up “short” ?!?!?!
    hey Doc… what the heck is a “preshool”?

  4. Thanks guys. If only Preschool Adventure had taught me my letters, all this could have been avoided. But sadly, All I know about are shapes, colors, sounds, and the body.
    -The Doc

  5. Alan says:

    My twins(2 and a half) fight over my phone and my wife’s phone to play the apps we have for them. Thing is, like you said, the app is too short. So they have figured out how to launch the other apps we have. So now we have to turn on airplane mode. Sad thing is, they now know how to turn that off as well.

    If the touch comes down in price, they may have one for their 3yr birthday. Just to play kid apps. Of note they really seem to like R.E.M. on my iphone.

  6. BFunk says:

    it’s a cute app good for only a few min and then theire onto the next of the apps/movies on my iPhone to keep them occupied at the restraint or wherever.

  7. Mike says:

    Tough Crowd!!

    Have you bought a Leap Frog game for $19.95 that the kid was bored with after 10 minutes.

    This game is great for at a restaurant, in the car, or other location that is short term.

    $0.99 is a bargain! Can’t go wrong. Even if your kid masters it the first time, I still got more value from it than the Candy Bar I bought her at $0.99

  8. HeyDoc says:

    Hey Doc, I just bought this game and it appears your review made a difference because itunes now says they’re going to be adding more content in the next release so my 3 year old thanks you for the free content.

    Now can you please make them add a feature to 1Password so I can use 1 single Password to lock out my entire iPhone instead of having to type in the same password over and over again?


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