Bottom Line: My eight year old daughter discovered Dr. Panda Candy Factory before I even knew it had fully downloaded. She immediately declared it her favorite Dr. Panda, with so much to do and learn. As a long time Dr. Panda fan, this is high praise. And Dr. Panda Candy Factory really is full of amazing fun. Get creative with this new Top Pick!
This candy factory has many different kinds of candy and other sweet treats to make. There are designs, flavors, colors—even electricity to infuse gummi shapes with sparkles. I have never made candy quite like this, and it’s very fun to discover everything that can be made. Unlike other Dr. Panda apps, there is a lot of action in this candy factory without any characters. After the main focus of creation, Dr. Panda delivers them to customers at the candy shop, three at a time. They express their enjoyment with various reactions: some pop gum bubbles on their face, while the hot pepper gummies result in a mouth-on-fire reaction.
There are different rooms in the factory, to make chocolates, gummi treats and bubblegum. Each creation experience involves different tools and ways to decorate, and it definitely took me awhile to figure out exactly what to do. In fact, this is probably my only complaint about this Dr. Panda experience. It was a little hard to figure out what to do, and if I didn’t know better, I might have just given up.
However, my daughter had already played it, for quite a long time, so I knew there was more to the game. I actually had to watch my daughter play to figure it all out. And, I admit, Ellie’s video was helpful, too, and I learned how to mix colors in the gummy factory by reading the comments on the YouTube video! It wasn’t as intuitive for me as Dr. Panda typically is, but both my daughter and Ellie seemed to figure it out pretty well, and this may well be difficulty unique to me.
To help out any parent readers of this review: watch the YouTube video to see Ellie demonstrate how to play. There are many steps involved in each candy. For example, making gummies involves picking up the gelatin with the tool to then shape and flavor it on the left side. Drag a flavor choice to the flavor extractor (I made up that appliance name) and turn it on. Tap the green check button to move on to the shaping phase.
Next turn the red wheel to turn on the heat and melt the gelatin. Tap the shape button to choose a shape, then pour the liquid gelatin into the mold. Tap the green check again and the jelly is moved back to the carousel.
Choose to keep flavoring the rest of the carousel, or move on to the right side of the machine where the gummy treat can be given a water bath, dyed the user’s color of choice, then infused using electricity with glittery shapes. I don’t know if this is a real technique or not, but it sure is fun.
Decorate as many gummies as desired, but six will be delivered to three eager customers in the candy shop. They’re obliging customers, though—if some candies are undecorated, they are just as happy.
The process to make the other two candy options—chocolates and bubblegum—is similarly full of many steps that took me awhile to figure out. But, once each action is discovered, it’s fun to experiment with the great number of options. The gum balls were especially fun, as the decorating takes place in a pinball-style machine.
Overall, I had little fault to find with this app. I love how my daughter, growing out of the typical preschool demographic for Dr. Panda apps, was still very entranced by this new app. It’s an app that can be enjoyed by a large age range. I admit, I even spent a long time decorating each chocolate in my set of six, long enough that I was almost inspired enough to make my own real chocolates. (I decided to just eat chocolate chips instead.)
Though it seemed a bit complicated to figure out at first, my daughter was able to navigate it with no difficulty. Those with younger kids might want to observe their play for a bit at first, to be sure they don’t get frustrated. But since kids are often much more intuitive than I am, it probably isn’t an issue for anyone under 18. Overall, this is another win from one of my favorite app developers. The graphics, sounds, interface and actions are fun and creative in this great new app.
Heather decided the plain chocolate chips were much easier than making candy, and still just as satisfying.