We may not have reviewed many vehicle-related apps on the blog but worry not, there is plenty of them on the App Store. There’s Toca Cars (from acclaimed children’s app maker Toca Boca), More Trucks, MakeGo -- the list goes on and on.
Gocco Fire Truck is the latest addition to that list. Developed by Smart Education, it’s a lively game in which kids become firefighters and save the city from the fiery fury of General Blaze.
Sound the Sirens
Gocco Fire Truck is a two-part game. The first part involves controlling a fire truck as it rushes through a crowded street to get to the scene of the fire. Along the way, you collect as much water as you can from buckets (flying or otherwise) and fire hydrants. A gauge on the left side of the screen shows how much water has been collected.
Controls are fairly simple here: just swipe or left to change lanes. You can also swipe up to jump, which is quite useful for collecting buckets in mid-air. However, be mindful of the other vehicles on the road, as colliding into them will drain your precious water.
Other obstacles are also present in the game, posing as tiny flames in oil drums and floating iron blocks that thump down on you as you pass underneath. In later stages you also have to deal with nightfall, falling leaves, and slippery ice puddles, which call for quick reflexes. Fortunately, the game also throws in bonus items such anti-collision helmets and add-on wings.
The second part of the game begins as soon as you arrive at the scene of the fire. Here, you try to extinguish General Blaze and his minions before the building collapses. To shoot, simply drag the fire hoses to where the fire balls are. Note that there are two fire hoses, which means two players can collaborate to extinguish the fire.
A gauge at the top of the screen informs you how much power General Blaze has left. Once it is depleted, the game is won and your performance will be rated using a three-star ranking system. You can then move on to save other cities.
Parents Need to Know
Gocco Fire Truck is suitable for kids ages 3+. There is no punishment in the game -- even if you end up with an empty water gauge, you can still move on to fight General Blaze. The app is language neutral, which means you can use the app with non-readers as well.
The app is free with in-app purchases. The initial download will get you a basic fire truck and three free stages set in the US. For $2.99, you can unlock 9 additional US stages, as well as 12 stages each in Japan and the UK.
You can also unlock Fire Truck Air (which flies) and Fire Truck Bomber (which knocks back any vehicle it runs into) for $0.99 each, although it is possible to finish the game with the basic truck. If you manage to score three stars in all the stages (premium included), you get to unlock the almighty Fire Truck Max.
All in-app purchases are secured from kids using a timer mechanism. To purchase, you must tap and hold for three seconds. One important thing to note is that once you’ve unlocked the premium stages, the app needs to download them first. In my experience this took a while to complete, so be mindful of this before handing the game to your kids.
The app does not contain third-party advertisements. There is a link to the developer’s other app (Gocco Zoo, which we loved) but it is also secured using the tap-and-hold mechanism.
Things I Like
Gocco Fire Truck is a fun game for everyone. Kids will love playing as a heroic firefighter, and adults would appreciate the highly polished gameplay. Every stage poses a unique challenge, and as a whole the game would engage players for hours on end. I also like how the game encourages cooperative play, while keeping the possibility of solo drives.
In the visuals department, Gocco Fire Truck doesn’t disappoint with its colorful 3D graphics and animations. I like that every city has a unique look, and the characters are just adorable. There is something Super Mario-ish about the game which I can’t put my finger on -- perhaps it is the design of the characters or the cute sound effects? Regardless, I really like the way the game is put together.
If your juniors get wide-eyed whenever they see a fire truck rolling by, Gocco Fire Truck is the app for them. This fantastic game offers adorable characters, gorgeous graphics, and a challenging gameplay which appeals to both kids and adults. With 36 unique stages to unlock, the game will keep your tiny firefighters busy for hours. Highly recommended.
App was provided for our honest review.