I was compensated in exchange for my honest review of this product. All opinions expressed are my own (and my daughter's since she played the game too).
My 6-year old daughter loves to play on my iPhone. I encourage it since she usually plays with it in the car when we are traveling to and from school and activities so it serves the dual purpose of keeping her occupied and prevents me from being tempted to check it when a text message chirps in. Since she’s six, I’m pretty picky about the games that I load onto my phone and allow her to play.
Also, I prefer to download free apps so that if they’re duds, I don’t feel like I’ve wasted any money. The problem I’ve discovered with a lot of the free kids game apps is that they’re typically very limited and my daughter is bored with them after playing them two or three times.
Talking Anya Dress Up & Pet Puppies is NOT like most of the other games we have downloaded. The free version has so many amazing features unlike anything we had seen in a children’s app before. For example, the app allows you to insert Anya (a 3D little girl) into real-life scenes using your iPhone or iPad camera. My daughter thought it was so cool that I was able to take a picture of her and Anya standing together.
Another feature my daughter thinks is super cool is Anya’s responsiveness to what my daughter says and does. Anya will repeat things you say to her, in her own adorable little voice. She’ll laugh when you tickle her, sneeze when you touch her nose, make a funny face if you touch her face, and wipe your hand away if you touch her hair.
Of course, Talking Anya has many of the features you would expect from this type of game. You can change her hairstyle or hair color. You can also have her wear glasses, change her outfit, or dance the macarena. My daughter had fun with the popping bubbles game.
My biggest complaint about the game was that several features were locked, which you can unlock by purchasing them in clusters or all at once for a special discounted bundled rate. My daughter was very frustrated when she wanted to switch the style of sunglasses on Anya and all but one style were locked. Of course, it’s a free version so I didn’t expect it to come with all of the features. App developers have to make a living too, after all. I only wish that the locked features weren’t intermingled with all of the other features the way they are because: 1) It made me realize how feeble the free version was, and 2) it’s frustrating to a child who keeps trying to use those features only to reach a brick wall requiring mom or dad to make a purchase.
On the topic of features NOT included in the free version, the name of the app is a little misleading since it’s called “Talking Anya Dressup & Pet Puppies.” You don’t have access to the pet puppies in the free version. They are one of the features you must pay to unlock. My daughter REALLY wanted to play with those puppies so I used the game as an incentive to get her to do some extra chores. In lieu of cash, I paid her by paying to unlock all of the features.
Now, she has a whole assortment of costumes, outfits and accessories to dress Anya in. She also has more games, can change Anya’s eye color, can change the on-screen scenes that Anya is in, and most importantly, she can play with all the puppies, dress them up and have them do tricks.
Talking Anya is an iOS app appropriate for children four years old and older. My 6-year old daughter loves the game, but I think in another two years she might be too old for it so it’s probably best suited to children ages 4-7. The free version will certainly afford your child hours of entertainment and if you choose to unlock any of the features, it will be well worth the few dollars for all the entertainment your child will get out of it.
You can download Talking Anya Dress-Up & Pet Puppies here.