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Kids product review

Posted Mar 08 2013 10:26am
Pandanda is an online virtual world targeted towards children aged 6-14. As members of Pandanda, kids can create a customized avatar, play games and chat with other members, alter their avatar's environment, win awards, earn coins, and use the said coins to unlock features of the game. The site provides a safe, cute online space for kids to interact with other children in a controlled environment.

In terms of features, Pandanda is like any other run of the mill virtual worlds. Children can customize their own avatar based on variations of a Red Panda (hence the name of the site) and alter the design of its "home" (a tree house). The main focus of Pandanda is to earn virtual "coins" either through games or even buying them outright, and using these coins to unlock various features such as clothing items, furniture for their avatar's home, etc. Although Pandanda is free at the moment, once its Beta period expires, parents can be expected to pay for access to the virtual world.

The artwork and design of Pandanda, despite being cute, is hardly extraordinary or very imaginative. Compared to some of the other, more popular virtual worlds, one can even call it somewhat Pedestrian. In an online virtual world designed specially for grade schoolers, the artwork is one of the major draws, and in this respect, Pandanda is a disappointment.

The concept of virtual coins and awards can be somewhat handy in teaching kids financial concepts, although this educational component is lacking in outright focus. The main draw of Pandanda for kids would be the fun of creating and customizing their character and its virtual "home". The site has a heavy focus on internet safety, and through several games, teaches kids the value of safe internet behavior. Since chatting with other players is an integral part of the Pandanda experience, there is a strong, safe chat mode that filters out any bad words or swear language. Pandanda's content itself is finely tuned for young children, and you won't find any references to sex, bad language, drinking, drugs, or smoking. Visit here..

Pandanda is currently in Beta mode. All your children's earnings in the form of coins or awards will be reverted back to zero once this Beta mode is over. After that, you may be expected to pay for access to Pandanda in the form of an 'Elite' membership. However, Pandanda does not offer any innovative features or attractive artwork/design that might make paying for access to it a lucrative proposition. The cookie-cutter tableau of customized characters, safe chat mode, games and awards is hardly unique to Pandanda, and can be had in several other online virtual worlds for free. By deleting all your kids' awards and coins upon completion of the Beta period, Pandanda's approach seems to be to extort money from parents by hoarding their kids' hard earned rewards. A high unsavory monetization approach like leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
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