After being ‘hired’ as beta testers for Airside Andy, the brilliant mobile game set in a busy airport, Ezra (age 10) and Jed (age 7) were keen to review some cool new apps for kids.
Apps for Kids: Toca Dance
Toca Dance is a new dancing game that will be equally entertaining for boys and girls. Its creators Toca Boca are big names in the apps for kids market, and this is their 31st release. I’ve had a go (or several) and it really is a fun way to pass the time, especially if you love to bust a move.
‘In this app you create dances and watch them being performed on a stage.
Step 1. Choose your dancers
Step 2. Dress your characters however you want
Step 3. Go to the training centre and control the coach to create the dance
Step 4. Watch your own dance being performed.
You tap on parts of the characters’ bodies and hold and swipe to move that part. You choose the music, and you can add special effects to the show. It’s a very good game, it’s fun watching your own created dance being performed by the avatars.’
‘I like the character with a block head, he looks funny. It’s cool that you can make the characters jump around. I like that you’re watching but you’re also making them do stuff. You can make fire and other things come up on the stage. Also you can throw food at the dancers if you don’t like their moves!’
Apps for Kids: Little Legends Race Day
Little Legends Race Day is by Made in Me, the same company behind the delightful online game and story world The Land of Me. Made in Me sent the boys their Little Legends books, part of a new series off which the app is based. I love the concept of classic fairytale and legend characters remixed for 21st century kids. And again, I like its unisex appeal. The boys were instant fans of the books and Ezra had LOTS to say about the game:
‘This is a very fun game. You can play as Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk, Anansi, from the spider character… I think (from African-Caribbean folklore – Mum), Red from Little Red Riding Hood, or Rapunzel. In the Anansi books he can talk to spiders and he can get them to make webs for him to swing around from, it looks like he’s flying! But this doesn’t happen in the game — that would be such a cheat!
You tap anywhere on the screen to jump and you can get boosts by collecting power-ups that are lying around on the maps. When you get a power-up, there’s a little pink square that appears at the bottom right corner with a magic symbol and you tap it to boost. And there are spider webs that slow you down, it even slows Anansi down. You can also do racing tournaments and whoever wins the most comes top of the leader board.
What’s annoying is in the races sometimes there are platforms you jump on, and sometimes there are tree stumps or rocks and a lot of times you fail, and sometimes when you boost you boost straight into a rock or a tree stump and it stops your boost and you have to jump over it.
I like how there are three levels, and you can’t run faster than someone in the race, it’s all about platforming — you have to jump onto another platform and try and jump over your competitor to beat them. The AL (the computer) is very good at winning races and you can’t change the difficulty, so no cheating. Often when you’re about to win a race, Red jumps on top of a tree stump over your head and wins the race!
I’ve destroyed this review. There’s nothing for Jed to say. I’ve literally said everything (laughs heartily). The only thing Jed can add is that Red can do front flips.’
Anything to add Jed?
‘Red can do front flips!’ (giggles)
Toca Dance (FREE) is available on iTunes; Little Legends Race Day (FREE) is available on iTunes App Store, Google Play store and Amazon App store
The Little Legends Race Day book series, crafted by Tom Percival and published by Pan Macmillan, is available on Amazon (original retail value £5.99)