The hit colourful BBC Cbeebies cartoon set in Africa has come to the iPad and iPhone, but should you download it and let your kids steal your iDevice for hours at a time? Does it keep the same values as the show, or is it just a mindless tie-in cash-in? Are there stories, or is it just games?

There are so many questions that we've downloaded the app to find out whether or not you should bother.


Tinga Tinga Tales is a simple app with nine mini games to keep your little one entertained. Like the Peppa Pig app that we looked at previously, the app focuses on the main characters of the series and then gives them games to get them involved. You don’t however get and of the episodes to watch or storylines to follow.

That means Elephant, Lion, Tortoise, Monkey, Hippo, Chameleon, and Lizard all get a look in with mini games of their own.

The games themselves are very simple. There are no puzzles to solve, but enough going on to keep a 5 year old happy. Younger kids will get even more enjoyment.

Take Elephant’s level for example. It sees you having to clean other dirty animals as they run past with water from your trunk. Succeed and you get points, fail to do so and you lose lives and eventually the game. Those points make no difference though so it doesn’t really matter anyway. It is all about taking part.

Most of the games are of a similar vein with some getting two games. Tortoise has two for example - one where you are trying to avoid being stomped on by charging animals, the other where you are flying upwards collecting fruit (very surreal).

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There is a break to the left/right game play when it comes to Lizard and Chameleon. Lizard hides under a rock and you have to find him after the rocks have been moved around. Chameleon’s levels see you trying to pick the right pattern for him to blend into the background or eat yummy flies when they stop buzzing around you. Simple but repetitive.

There are three difficult levels to up the ante, although you, if you decide to play, won’t have any issues.

Tinga Tinga Tales is an incredibly simple app, but one that will please fans of the TV show. The graphics match, the voices and sounds are the same, and the experience is enjoyable for those under six.

The catch of course is that it can all get a bit repetitive quickly and it would have been nice to have some of the messages from the cartoon series included here too.

The bottom line however, is that if you’re kids enjoy the show, they’ll certainly enjoy this too.