There are very few app developers who I will buy anything they release without hesitation, and the Swedish company Toca Boca are top of my list. If you check out my app recommendations for pre-schoolers you will see I include anything by Toca Boca. Unquestioningly. They have produced a great range of high quality, well designed kids apps which, most importantly for me, encourage creative play, rather than trying to guide the kids down a pre-defined path. Last week Toca Boca contacted me and offered me early access to their latest app, Toca Builders, and I couldn’t say “yes please” fast enough! So for the last few days the geekdaughter and I have been enjoying playing with this new app, and as it is now available to all in the app store I want to share our early opinions of it.
My first impression of Toca Builders is that it is like a simplified version of Minecraft – a block-based building game. Your child is presented with a large open space, and can choose to control any one of 6 robots, each of which can do different things. One can colour the floor, one can place and remove blocks, one can create towers of blocks, one can spray paint the blocks different colours, one can create blocks that hang in mid-air and one is a crane that can pick up and move blocks. The controls are simple and intuitive, and the geekdaughter grasped them quickly – within a few minutes she was trying to build a house.
This is the first Toca Boca app that I’m aware of being aimed at older children. Previous apps have been great for toddlers and pre-schoolers (and beyond), whereas this one is aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 11. The geekson has had a little go, and quite enjoyed controlling the robot that paints the floor, but this is definitely an app that is better suited to the five-year-old geekdaughter. I’m excited to see Toca Boca produce something for older kids, and I think it works really well. What they have produced is, quite simply, the best freestyle building app for primary-school aged children. You can get a feel of the app from the trailer below:
Toca Builders (affiliate link) is available in the app store now for the bargain price of just 69p. It runs on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch – sadly not on Android yet. but Toca Boca have just released their first Android app, so maybe more will come in the future. I wholeheartedly recommend it, and when I told the geekdaughter I was writing this review I asked her what she wanted to say about the app. She replied with just one word – “great!”.
This blog post is also available in enhanced audio format – you can listen in the player below, or, if it’s not available, click on this link to listen on the Audioboo website.
Disclosure: We were provided with a complimentary copy of Toca Builders for review purposes. Links to the iOS app store within this review contain my affiliate code and I receive a very small commission if you purchase after clicking one.
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