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

The Robot Factory by Tinybop

The Robot Factory by Tinybop

Fall 2015 Mobile Apps
Ages: 6 - 8 yrs.
Developer: Tinybop
Download Price: $2.99
Platform: iPad

In the elegantly designed and illustrated Robot Factory, the lab itself is clean and simple but offers complexity in the many building possibilities. With up to 100 different functioning parts, the robots are assembled, tested and then placed in an external environment in which they need to move around, stay powered and survive. All of that requires thinking, testing, observing and redesigning, the hallmarks of good design.

After customizing a profile, players select one of seven basic body types from trashcans, furnaces or more predictable robot torso or exoskeletal parts. Once the core has been selected, the options of heads, appendages and eyes are available as wheels, jet packs, crustacean legs and more. Gently flashing red circles suggest locations to affix each part, offering players a broad palette of variables. Finishing touches include selecting one of nine color schemes, and recording robot sounds. The player's next task it to drag the robot into the tube that goes to the outdoor environment where it's "sink or swim." Poorly constructed, a robot will fall over and be DOA. Experimentation reveals the secrets of the various body parts and how they can be used for locomotion and retrieving power to keep the robot alive. A most charming manual includes the Robot Factory code of ethics, a definition of parts, and characteristics of colors. The many levels of play are revealed to the persistent.

Parents' Choice   ©2015 Parents' Choice

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Available on iTunes

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