Posted by Jim Martin 08 October 2013
Toca Boca Toca Builders app review: it's Minecraft for kids
Available on: iOS, Android, Amazon
Toca Boca has a wonderful knack for creating games for kids that keep them occupied for long periods of time without constantly asking for their parents’ help.
Toca Builders is aimed at a slightly older age group than usual – 5-11 – and is quite a lot like the popular adult game Minecraft, although considerably simpler. It’s based on the traditional coloured children’s blocks, but you have a limitless supply and they can be placed anywhere – even in mid-air.
You can play around with the included level, or create your own new design from a blank ‘canvas’. There are six different ‘builders’, each of which has a unique skill. Between them, you can place blocks on the grid, change their colour and paint the ground. There’s also a crane which can move block from one place to another, and some of the builders will automatically smash blocks in their path – something our five-year-old tester found particularly satisfying.
That’s pretty much all there is to it, but as with all Toca Boca games, Toca Builders is easy for kids to pick up without needing an adult to show them first. It also looks great, with the wooden characters and colourful blocks.
The way you control each of the characters is fun (one of the robots drops blocks as he walks, so it’s fast to quickly build a large wall) and most kids will be occupied for a good while before they get bored of the app.
Each ‘world’ is saved automatically and kids can create a new one or revisit a saved design from the main menu. Younger kids might not be able to master the controls for all the builders, nor understand how to change the view in this 3D world, but those a little bit older should have no problems.
For £1.99 on iOS, and 99p on Android it really is a no-brainer purchase.
See also: Nabi 2 kids' tablet review