Just in time for the 2015 holiday season, Toca Boca, an award-winning play studio that makes digital apps for kids, is releasing its 30th app, “Toca Blocks,” on December 17th.
Available on the App Store, Toca Boca’s new world-building app invites kids to create and explore the worlds they imagine. Starting with a blank canvas, kids can experiment with the apps’ transformative blocks to construct their own unique worlds. According to the official press release:
Tapping into kids’ curiosity, the blocks themselves offer a lot for kids to explore. There are a variety to choose from, each with their own characteristics made of various colors, textures and materials. Kids will also discover that there’s more than meets the eyes with the ever-evolving blocks: dragging one on top of another will reveal new shapes with new properties — everything from other unique blocks to items kids can use to fill their worlds such as a tree, chair or toilet. Kids can uncover the propeller to build a flying house or use trees to create an indoor forest. The only limit to what they build is their own imagination. By encouraging imaginative construction play, Toca Blocks helps kids see the endless ways one can use the same item.
“Construction play isn’t only about creating something beautiful, it’s about how you get there. When you create something, the materials you use get new meaning: a blanket becomes the ceiling of my playhouse, a chair becomes a stepping stone in the lava pit that’s erupted from the floor,” says play designer Mårten Brüggemann. “Using your imagination naturally brings out an evolving rule set from which you can use to create and play within. With Toca Blocks, we give kids a digital environment that enables this aspect of play.”
Toca Blocks also features three inhabitants, each with different traits such as flying, climbing and smashing. With the characters, kids can set out on an adventure to explore the worlds they create. Secret doors even open up new environments, letting kids create and discover world after world. The app features include three pre-installed worlds that lend inspiration to kids who don’t want to start building from scratch, various combinations of blocks and hidden objects, multiple tools including a pencil and eraser to make it easier to place and delete blocks, three heroes who are ready to explore the worlds – fly with the bird, climb with the bear or smash blocks with the cat, secret doors to access new worlds and the ability to save and edit creations. The app retails for $3.99.
Toca Blocks is fun to play with–although it’s completely “open play” features makes it a little confusing at times. That said, the game has several features–you can simply build by placing blocks together (or crashing them into one another to create all new blocks) or you can take on avatars and travel through specific worlds/levels much akin to early video games (think “Super Mario” in the 1980s). This aspect of variety ensures that the game will be interesting and engaging to children of varied ages.
Toca Boca is the #1 mobile-first kids brand in the App Store. Toca Boca describes itself as a “play studio” that makes digital toys for kids. Since its first product launch in 2011, Toca Boca has released over two dozen apps that have been downloaded in 215 countries worldwide. With more than 100 million downloads to date, Toca Boca apps focus on stimulating kids’ imaginations so that they can play and have fun in a safe digital environment. With offices in San Francisco, Stockholm and New York, Toca Boca is part of The Bonnier Group, a family-owned business that includes newspapers, magazines, television, cinemas and digital media.
For more information, please visit the official Toca Boca website. The gameplay video can be seen here.