TOCA LIFE: CITY / Toca Boca / Android
 
 
It's important to note up front that Toca City has nothing to offer adult gamers. It's intended for younger kids, I would guess the ideal age range is about 3 to 6. So this review is just for those looking for a gift / pacification device for a rugrat in their life, everyone else can safely tune out at this point.

Toca City is pretty much a big, interactive paper dollhouse. It's divided into four main locations, and each is populated by various Tocaland residents, but you're free to access a menu at any time to pull a character from another area into your current one. These characters don't talk, they don't interact, there's no objectives of any kind. Basically, you just move them around and pose them, but there's heaps of options for doing that.

Given the general dearth of actual stuff to do, I really think age 5 or 6 is going to be the upper limit for this one before kids get bored too fast. About the most interesting things to do are to give the little doods new hairstyles at the barber shop and put new outfits on them. You can put almost any object in their hands, but all they really do is stand there and hold it. I guess the idea was for kids to move them around and narrate their own stories as they go, but why not allow them to do that with text if they want to and save their stories to share with others? It would have upped the usable age range of the game and helped to creatively engage kids while letting them practice language and expressive skills all at once. Instead you're just kinda moving dolls around and putting stuff on them. I'm all for unstructured play but the possibilities here are real limited.

At an asking price of only a couple bucks, though, it's a pretty cheap way to pacify a very young child, and it seems to be popular for that purpose as it's one of the top-selling overall mobile apps on Amazon.
 
 
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