Creating custom cars and trains is a great way for kids who love vehicles to explore their creativity. My app pick for today, Labo Train, does exactly this, and more.
Not only would kids be able to draw and color their own custom trains, but they also get to drive their trains across some very challenging roads. This is where problem solving skills are required: to fix the roads so they can move forward along their journey.
Design, Decorate and Drive
The first thing you do in Labo Train is to design your own train. There are up to 46 templates and 15 different tires that you can choose from, and you can also draw your own train. You can have a different design for the locomotive and for the cars. The resulting train will have two cars and a big cart for apples behind the locomotive.
The next thing to do is to color and decorate your trains. If you choose a template, an example is shown on the top of the screen for your guidance. You may choose to replicate it if you want. But, you can also create your own colors and decorations.
Once your train is ready, you can take it for a drive. Your job is to take the apples safely to its destination. You start with 10 apples in the back car and you try to keep as many as possible as you travel along the bumpy ride.
Each route will have its own fair share of broken roads. You need to fix them by placing wooden blocks, rocks, and other things to keep the road as smooth as possible. If you manage to get enough apples to reach the final destination, you can unlock the next level, which is more challenging the current one.
Parents Need to Know
Even though Labo Train doesn't text or audio narration, it is intuitive enough for kids ages 3+ to play on their own. The app allows you to store all your creations in the garage, so you basically have an unlimited number of custom trains. Simply choose the one you like from the gallery each time you want to take a drive.
The app includes 24 levels that are grouped into four different scenes: day, night, rain, and snow. You unlock these levels one at a time, and the difficulty levels also increase gradually.
Things I Like
Even though Labo Train isn't exactly a drawing/coloring app, I really enjoyed the coloring activities offered in this app. You get 14 colors of choice, along with up to 20 stickers that you can unlock as you play more. You can get very creative with the design here.
The train driving gameplay is quite realistic. You get to manage the train speed by moving the speed lever from 0 to 3. Obviously you can move faster when the road is flat, but you may need to slow down when the road is a bit bumpy or when you're going downhill. In later stages, things can become a bit challenging as the terrain becomes more difficult. You may need to master how fast the train should move.
Labo Train is a fun activity app where kids get to play with toy trains. It allows kids to design their own custom trains, decorate them with colors and stickers, and drive them along very challenging roads. It's intuitive to play for kids ages three and up.
Get it on the App Store: iPad
App was provided for our honest review.