It’s been one year since Toca Boca released Toca Town. It was a great toy app for kids ages 3+ to experiment and tell their own stories. With 21 different characters, six locations, and hundreds of items, the possibilities for storytelling are almost infinite.
Over the past 12 months, the team at Toca Boca had received over 10,000 feature requests on Toca Town. As the result, today Toca Boca released a sequel to Toca Town called Toca Life: City. And, to make it easier for parents to associate these two apps, they renamed Toca Town into Toca Life: Town.
The City is Bigger Yet More Personal
Toca Life: City is a massive upgrade — in terms of complexity of the environment — compared to its prequel. The city offers four new locations that you can visit and play in: food park, shopping mall, hair salon, and loft apartment. Even though there are fewer locations here, the possibilities are endless — especially because now you can customize how each character looks.
The new City app allows you to select wardrobes that each of the 28 characters would wear. You can also change their hairstyles and hair colors. This makes the app even more detailed and personal. When it comes to storytelling, even the slightest difference in details can make a great difference in how you’d tell it.
Similar to its prequel, Toca Life: City lets you visit the park, go shopping at the grocery store, and relax yourself at home. Only this time, the park is a lot bigger — packed with many food vendors offering their specialties which include sushi, burger, pizza, fish and chip, coffee, donuts, and noodle soup. There are benches all over the park that you can sit on and chat with your friends.
In addition to the items that you can hold in your hands, you can also put things into a basket and carry the basket instead. Overall, there are more things that you can customize than ever before. For example, you can change the characters and the roles that they play to fit your storyline.
Shopping in the city gives you more option compared to the prequel. You can now shop for toys, new clothing, and some housewares. You can even get yourself a pet of your choice.
Parents Need to Know
Similar to its prequel, each location in Toca Life: City consists of many screens spread horizontally. To navigate, you need to swipe left/right. If you want to move the characters, you need to drag it.
Toca Life: City is designed to encourage kids to tell their everyday stories. That’s why it has its own hair salon — complete with the Hair Machine 3000 — to help kids craft the exact characters that they want for their stories.
As you’d expect from Toca Boca, Toca Life: City has no in-app purchase, third-party ads, nor links to social media. It also works great in airplane mode. But if you’re happened to be online, you might want to check the parent zone. Apparently, the developers are kind enough to sneak in a 15% discount code for the Toca Web Shop.
Things I Like
Toca Boca is well-known for their attention to details. In my review of the prequel, I suggested kids to experiment with everything. For example, if you pour tomato ketchup on top of a character, it would turn her hair to red. And if you pour soy sauce instead, it would turn someone’s hair to black.
Throughout the app, there are plenty hidden treasures to be found. For example, try to find all the paper money hidden in the supermarket. Just remember not to throw things into the trash can, because you would not be able to retrieve it. The only way to reset the city, if you really need to, is to go back to the main screen and tap on the reset button on the top right corner of the screen.
Toca Life: City is a fun sequel to a great storytelling app for kids. The new City app offers a more personal experience where kids can customize how the characters look like. It’s a great tool for kids ages 3+ to practice their storytelling skills — by telling their own everyday stories in a visual way.
App was provided for our honest review.
About Toca Boca
Toca Boca is the leading development studio for kids apps on all platforms: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. They’re the pioneer for encouraging kids to play freely without rules, levels, timers, or any predetermined outcomes. Their digital toys are always setting the trends on what’s possible in terms of gamplay and education.
Here are some of our recent favorites from Toca Boca collection of apps:
Toca Nature is an imaginative app where kids can manipulate huge terrains, grow trees, and watch nature inhabitants spring up at their fingertips. It lets kids experience the wonders of nature in a child-friendly fashion. As parents, you can observe the different habitats in the app and discuss it with your kids — especially on how specific environmental conditions may affect these animals.
Toca Boo offers a thrilling experience not commonly seen in kids’ apps. Players control Bonnie, a little girl dressed in a white sheet, as she roams her big old house and scares her family members. It may start as rather spooky, but may turn out to be quite exciting as kids discover that the dark is not always so scary after all.