I may have mentioned once or twice before that the geek family are huge fans of Toca Boca apps on iOS (and now slowly coming to Android as well). They are one of a small handful of kids app developers who I will happily buy anything they produce. Imagine our excitement when we heard that their next release was going to be called Toca Cars. The geekson is a typically car-mad three year old, and I was hopeful that this app would be right up our street. When Toca Boca contacted us to see if we’d like a promo code to gain early access to the app I of course agreed! But I couldn’t tell you about it until today, the official release date.
Toca Cars is available on the iOS App Store, and is a Universal app, which means it will run on any iOS device you have – iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. No Android version, but Toca Boca are starting to make their apps available on Android so you never know…
In Toca Cars your child can drive a little car through a virtual playing area. There are roads, trees, houses, ramps, ponds and all sorts of other things to interact with. I’m told that the whole world was initially created by the app designers in “real life” out of cardboard, and then each model was carefully reproduced in digital form. It really does feel like a hand made world as you drive around. The car can be driven into the scenery, pushing it around or knocking it over, but you don’t have to worry about your child making a complete mess – one tap of the “reset” button at the top of the screen will put everything back where it should be.
Toca Cars is made with the same attention to quality and detail as I’ve seen in all other Toca Boca apps. It’s very quick to get in and start the game – you simply choose which driver you want to be (a choice between the big sister or the little brother) and then you choose whether you want to drive around a pre-populated playing area or start with a blank canvass and add your own scenery. It’s recommended for ages three and up, and both my kids picked it up very easily, and both enjoyed playing with it. I particularly like the way, just like the other Toca Boca apps, Toca Cars allows completely unrestricted play – the children are free to build and explore the world however they like. There are some really fun elements to interact with – for example I love it when you drive through some water or ice cream and you get coloured tracks for a while. And there are a few characters that interact with your car as well, each with their own personality. The geekson likes the robot which bashes you if you get too close, and the geekdaughter loves the little dog that follows you around.
Parents can rest assured that there are no in-app purchases or adverts within this game. There is a “for parents” link on the first screen which gives access to more information about the game, but it can’t be accessed unless you swipe the screen in a specific way, which should make it more difficult for your kids to access it. As additional security, once you’ve installed the app you’ll find a new Toca Cars section in your main iOS Settings app which allows you to switch off the “for parents link” as well as the “Toca News” and the background music. Personally I didn’t find the background music quite so insidious as other Toca Boca apps, but I can imagine it could get on your nerves if the kids play a lot, so it’s nice to have the option to turn it off.
But enough of what I think of the app, I expect you really know what my kids think of it. I managed to catch some film of them playing and talking about the app at the weekend. Before you watch this video I just want to explain a couple of things. Firstly the geekdaughter is sounding a little husky as she was going down with a cold. Yes, she’s wearing a Rapunzel dressing up dress. The audio is not as clear as I’d like it to be because they were sitting in front of the washing machine and I had a load on the go. However, given that my kids are not always this cooperative, sometimes you just have to take the opportunities you can get, and I think it’s still a good enough video to share, so here goes:
Toca Cars is available now in the iOS App Store for £0.69 (affiliate link), and I can’t recommend it highly enough. This is a discounted promotional price for a limited time only, so I recommend you grab it now whilst it’s available. This is yet another 5 star app from a great developer.
Disclosure: We were sent a code which allowed us to download Toca Cars before general release and at no charge. All opinions are my own. The link to the App Store in this post is an affiliate link – if you make a purchase after clicking on it I will be paid a few pennies in return.