Review Zoo Puzzle Pals Preschool Game
Solve sliding puzzles that feature adorable animals
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 20 Jun 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Cute aesthetic, simple gameplay
No options, abuses ads by placing them where a player might suddenly click
Going to birthday parties as a kid meant that I’d undoubtedly come home with a plastic bag of one dollar toys. And inside this bag was usually a plastic square puzzle with sliding tiles. If you slid all the tiles in the right order then they’d make a picture. I’ve suddenly found myself reviewing a ton of apps that have brought this concept to mobile games and Zoo Puzzle Pals for Android has struck home the closest.
It’s a sliding puzzle game that features cute animals. Players have to slide the tiles in the right place but they’re graded on how efficient they are at doing it. There is a time limit and a move counter and if you’re not fast enough or smart enough then you’ll get stuck with a low score or you might even fail altogether.
The core gameplay is good fun, but the scoring system really kind of bothers me because it seems like a game targeted at kids but the time limit really kind of puts an unnecessary burden on them. Also, learning how to move the puzzle pieces so they’ll fit in the order you want them to takes a lot of trial and error before the nuances start to make sense. In other words, the game just kind of puts the child down with bad score after bad score and that doesn’t do much for making the game fun or building the child’s confidence.
Zoo Puzzle Pals is pretty barebones when on the content side -- there isn’t even a menu screen. There are a decent amount of puzzles but not a ton of replayability. And once you get the hang of moving tiles then all of the other puzzles become almost trivial. The game could definitely do with a rebalanced scoring system and some extra content.