At first glance, Toca Builders is complicated. Kids are given a grid on which to create a world and six characters to use to create it. For parents, the lack of instructions as kids play the game may seem a little frustrating, but it’s not for kids. After tapping around briefly to get their bearings straight, most kids will jump right into the app and start creating a world.
Kids will not be designing complicated cities or architectural masterpieces within Toca Builders, but they will be able to paint the ground and other surfaces, stack and stretch blocks and even knock them all down. They can build trees, create lakes and rivers and add whatever they want to their virtual world.
Multiple ways to build
Controls require more than tapping
Like most Toca apps, Toca Builders is designed to be a high-quality app. Graphics are crisp and clear. Colors are bright and bold. Kids will be immediately drawn to the look and feel of the app because it has been designed with them in mind. The designers did not add a lot of spoken or written instructions to cloud up the app. Instead they use icons with symbols kids will learn to recognize and icons that respond as soon as they are clicked on. They also encourage kids to move beyond tapping, having them roll, stretch and move the characters in other unique ways as they create their worlds.
Creativity is the focus of Toca Builders. Parents are encouraged to talk with kids about their virtual worlds and make up stories to go along with them. Problem-solving also comes into play as kids try to bring the vision of their world to life. They must figure out how to use the six tools they are given to create items such as trees or to add doors and windows to buildings.
Some kids will spend hours designing, building and perfecting their virtual worlds. Others will build a few structures, knock them down and start over again. Whichever method of play your child prefers, the app is designed to work for them. Kids will have fun experimenting with the different tools and watching their virtual worlds come to life. They will also like the option to take pictures of their progress as they go. If you don’t want your Camera Roll loaded with images from Toca Builders, be sure to turn the snapshots setting off.
This review should have been done a long time ago, however we’ve been too busy playing the game to be able to write about it. I am a huge fan of Toca Boca apps in general and this is another adorable app that you should definitely check out. The artwork is stunning and original. It is a lot like Minecraft, only for kids! Kids will love using their imagination to build their own cityscapes with the help of beautifully designed “builder” characters
Toca Builder opens with what looks like an island background. It is the kid’s job to build up the island using a team of six Toca-style builders. The builders each have a different function or style of building. Blox drops and smashes blocks. Cooper paints. Vex is a block-stacker. Connie lifts and moves the blocks, and Jum-Jum spray paints by spitting through what looks like a spitball straw (it’s very imaginative, cute and fun.) Kids can choose from a wide range of colored blocks and paints, and can freely switch from using one builder character to another. There are several options to control the builders: buttons, levers; even a roller ball mouse!
This game is not as structured as some of the other Toca Boca apps. Builder gives your child the tools to build, then lets them run wild with their own imaginations. Kids can build sculptures, trees, animal, abstract designs; anything they want.
Rather than a normal doodling game or a strict design game, Toca Builder is an open and fun vehicle for self-expression.
Kids could spend hours building, lifting and smashing blocks. This is a guilt free game because kids are learning about dimension, shape and design and expressing their creativity. Each project is autosaved. If you limit your childs iPad time, she can quit the game without frustration knowing that she can come back to finish it later on.
Like the other Toca Boca apps, there are no annoying ads or sneaky in-app purchases. There are no options that are “blocked off” which are always annoying for kids and adults. For a mere $5.49 you and your child have full access to an artistic world with no stress, limits or rules. Build, create, and play on your own terms.
Older kids have apps and programs such as Minecraft and Eden, but there’s really nothing else like Toca Builders for younger children. That fact alone makes the app worth the price.
Toca designs apps with kids in mind and Toca Builders is no exception. Instead of wasting time on large amounts of written instructions, designers focused on creating icons, images and menus that kids can understand. There is no third-party advertising within the app and any sections designed for adults are only accessible by swiping with two fingers.
The Good Stuff
Cool imaginative artwork in 3D. Toca Builder is an inventive take on a popular concept.
Things to Consider
A little tough to figure out the controls in the beginning. It takes some getting used to.
The Bottom Line
This is a no-brainer that lets kids have fun while being creative.
Younger kids can get in on the digital building craze.