Children playing with food is not something a parent usually encourages but Yummiloo Rainbow Power, by Night & Day Studios and yummico, attempts to change all that. Targeted at preschoolers, the app promises to help "kids learn the basics of food identification and nutritional curriculum through a fun and engaging game".
The app opens with a short video introducing the world of the characters called Yum Yums, with attractive visuals and a charming soundtrack.
The game involves putting fruits and vegetables of a specific colour into a bucket of the same colour, in order to fuel a rainbow machine, as well as adding rotten produce to a compost bin. Parents can set either a "tap" function, suited to younger users, or a "drag" function for older children.
Since younger children may not understand the concept of the different bins, the app could provide parents with an occasion to talk to their kids about the food cycle, and the value of composting. In addition, the game helps children practise colour identification by introducing food choices in each colour.
After buckets of different colours are filled, the Rainbow Machine runs, and a short celebratory video featuring a train and carnival rides plays.
My 2½-year-old struggled to fill the buckets in time, and couldn't reach the end of the game without help. But the carnival did seem to please him.
The Rainbow Machine is supposed to signify the importance of a varied diet to children. Again, parents could use the occasion to explain this to their kids, as it might not be understood from the game on its own.
Verdict: A well-produced game that requires some explanation for young children.
Yummiloo Rainbow Power, US$1.99 from the App Store