Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Toca Robot Lab

Toca Robot Lab

Spring 2012 Mobile Apps
Ages: 3 - 7 yrs.
Contributions From: Eric Alm
Designer: Chris Lindgren
Director: Emil Berner
Producer: Emil Ovemar
Developer: Toca Boca
Download Price: $0.99
Platform: iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad

If you have a three- or four-year-old and want a fun app, check out Toca Boca's Robot Lab. The app is charming and engaging for little ones, especially those who like to put things together. Once they enter the "robot lab", a conveyer belt meets your child with a few different pairs of robot "legs" that look like various pieces of scrap metal. Above the conveyer belt is a box where they'll assemble their robot. The child picks a pair of legs, and along come chunks of metal that look like old, used blenders, refrigerators, etc., which they use for a body, and so on, until they've built their own little robot. Each time they drag a piece to their robot, it makes soldering and electric screwdriver noises, sparks fly, and out comes their very own friendly robot. Note that the available pieces change with each round of play, so you're child will have to build a different robot each time. It's a nice way to build in variety. Once the robot is created, the child drags it around a little maze, collecting up to three stars and knocking over blocks and balls until it finds the big magnet which drags it back into the "lab" where it gets a stamp of approval. As the maze is different each time, it can be quite a challenge to find all three stars. The design is nice, the robots are adorable, and it shows kids that it is possible to make something cool out of "junk".

Melissa Strunc   ©2012 Parents' Choice

Look for this product at:
Toca Boca
Available on iTunes

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