Playing with old-fashioned toy cars has finally made the technological jump into the smartphone generation with the new toy app Toycar (iOS version here). Don't let the relatively mundane naming fool you; this app is of surprisingly high quality and is a joy to play with.
The first thing I was impressed with was the many different options you have for controlling the cars. You can lead them with your finger, flick the cars to send them off in one direction, tilt your smartphone, or just let them run free by themselves. And of course, since it's not really a "game" per se, controlling the cars in any of these ways is easy-peasy.
Once you learn the basics, I suggest taking your car for a spin on a small test track to practice. Once you get the hang of it, you can add more cars to your track and expand its boundaries.
For traffic signals, signs, and new roads, all you have to do is tap the icons at the bottom of the screen to select one, then either tap or drag on the main screen to place them where you want.
To add more cars, all you do is go to your car box, tap the model you want, then tap some where on the road, and there it appears. Don't worry if you make a mistake, the eraser feature lets you erase roads and cars with ease.
Probably the most remarkable feature of Toycar is its ability to work across multiple smartphones and tablets. Make sure they're all connected to the same LAN, and you can combine two or more smart devices to make town-sized maps for your cars to motor around in.
This features lets you really get creative and frees you from the size limits of a single smartphone. You can even add trees and parking lots to give your creation life.
There's lots of freedom in making these maps, and if you've ever played SimCity, you may feel a twinge of nostalgia with Toycar.
From just playing around with simple miniature cars, to creating huge maps spanning multiple smart devices, Toycar is something nearly anyone can enjoy. For a bit more detail on all the things you can do, here's the official explanation video from YouTube:
Parents: make sure to you get a little practice before handing this game off to your kids, or else they'll be out-designing you in no time!
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Device used: HTC J ISW13HT
Publisher: NEXTBOOK Inc.
Last updated: 2/2/2013
Compatibility: Android 2.2 or higher
Translation by Jason Morgan