The market for apps for toddlers is certainly a competitive one, with big names like Toca Boca and StoryToys regularly churning out new apps that raise the quality bar. In spite of this, however, more developers are eager to grab a piece of the pie, and now Filimundus has entered the race with their latest app, My Little Work - Garage.
Previously known for their contraption puzzle apps, the Swedish gaming company is now working on a series of apps where young juniors can experience working like adults in a playful environment. My Little Work - Garage is the first in this series, and as you might expect, the app sees juniors running their own garage.
Start Your Engines
Just like a real garage, kids are asked to cater to customers with various needs and wishes. Sometimes, customers come in with a flat tire or an empty gas tank, and other times they want a paint job or a new set of rims. To start working, players pull down a rope to open the garage door and let a customer in.
Once inside, the customer will convey to the players what needs to be done via small speech bubbles. Usually, a customer will request three jobs, but there are actually seven that can be done in the garage:
- Filling up the gas tank or, in the case of electric cars, charging up the battery
- Filling up the tires with air or putting on new tires chosen from a number of designs
- Giving the car a makeover by putting on new body parts. Players can mix and match various parts to create entirely new designs.
- Installing various accessories, including wacky ones like siren, spotlight, propeller, and even a flower bed. Scroll through these items by swiping the conveyor belt left or right.
- Maintaining the engine by refilling the radiator coolant, oil, and windshield wiper tank; replacing the battery; and tightening the engine
- Create a custom paint job using colorful stamps and patterns
- Wash the car
When the car has been serviced and the customer satisfied, players receive a number of coins that they can spend on new car parts for their own cars. These cars are placed in the garage’s backyard (accessible from the main menu), and can be customized according to the players’ wishes.
Additionally, players can also take part in the racing game. Three racing tracks are available -- the backyard, town, or Egypt -- and up to four players can play on the same device.
To control their cars, players tap on the gas pedal to go forward on straight tracks, and release to slow down on corners. A timer located at the top of the screen keeps track of the time it takes for a player to complete three laps.
Parents Need to Know
Geared toward small children, My Little Work - Garage is simple and intuitive to use. The app skips text and audio instructions in favor of pictures and symbols, which should be discernible even by non-readers. The lack of text in the gameplay also makes the app friendly for non-English speaking players. However, instructions for parents are available in English and Swedish.
The app is also child-safe. There are no in-app purchases, and all external links (either to the developers’ other apps or their Facebook page) are protected from little fingers via a touch-and-hold mechanism.
Things I Like
We’ve been a fan of Filimundus for a while now -- their Pettson’s Inventions series are amongst Eric’s favorite games -- so we are quite happy to know that the team is expanding to make apps for young kids. I also have to say that My Little Work - Garage is a terrific initial release.
Like other apps by Filimundus, My Little Work - Garage is very well-made. The graphics and animations are lovely, and the gameplay engaging. It is not at all uncommon to see multiple mini games in an app nowadays, but My Little Work - Garage is actually quite fun and rewarding. The app provides quite a number of car parts and accessories to unlock, which motivates kids to continue playing.
The racing game is also an excellent inclusion. The races are not particularly extensive, but the fact that you can race against up to three other players is great. I also find it hilarious that you can crash your car by not slowing down on corners, although you can turn this feature off if your juniors are too young or if they find it difficult to control their speed.
My Little Work - Garage is an excellent app that lets kids experience what’s it like to work in garage through fun mini games. The app features eye-catching graphics and a wide range of rewards to keep players coming back. There is also an exciting multiplayer racing game which lets up to four players compete on the same device. Overall, the app is a great initial release -- we can’t wait to see the rest of the apps in My Little Work series!
App was provided for our honest review.