The popular app game series for preschoolers known as Dr. Panda released their latest installment--“Dr. Panda Train”--on June 22, 2017. The app game gives Children the opportunity to playfully explore the world of trains via avatars that seat characters, handle cargo, feed passengers’ snacks, and much more. Like all the Apps in the series, the app is “open-ended play” and is intended for children between the ages of two and four.

Concept and development

“Dr. Panda Train” was developed after the company’s creative team spent many hours fleshing out concepts that concerned somehow delivering passengers and cargo.

The game includes many different environments and characters--both on the train and off it--which can be interacted with via tapping on the screen. For instance, an ostrich in the background can be made to put her head in a hole, and chameleons change into a rainbow of colors when prompted.

“When we were originally developing the game, we only had one location in mind, but we realized that this didn't give the sense, the feeling, of traveling between different locations,” explained Twan Mul, the lead game designer, in an exclusive interview. “So, we added a few different environments. Nothing stays stationary for long because the game is always moving. We had to make assets really clear so that they almost jump out at the user, and be noticed easily.”

Twan Mul noted that game took a mere four months to finish from the start of its concept to its release.

Given the high-level detail of the graphics, gameplay, characters, and features, that is quite a remarkable achievement.

“It's been a very fast-paced and successful project because of our experienced team, always pulling together to speed up the process,” he said. “I’m proud of what we did in the time that we had.

We really packed this app with a number of fun and cute animations.”

Features and future

“Dr. Panda Train” certainly includes many amusing features and characters such as a camel who wears sunglasses, many rainbow-colored iguanas, and birds situated on wires that poo on you if you tap them. While Dr. Panda plays the role of conductor, the passengers range in species and even includes cats attired in cute dresses.

Meanwhile, cargo can come in the form of food, boxes, or even love letters.

“In total, there are three different environments and sections that each have two unique stations,” Twan Mul said. “Besides that, there are also three different transitions between the different areas plus a bridge and two tunnels. We hope that will keep things both interesting and fun.”

When questioned about future projects, Twan Mul was hesitant to give any details, although he did claim that another title can be expected to be unveiled before the end of summer.