As any parent with a basement full of Matchbox cars knows, kids are fascinated with cars, as well as other specialty vehicles such as trucks, buses, and construction equipment.
Edu-app developer ABCya‘s Create a Car, for iPad and iPhone/iPod, lets children trick out their own digital rides, store them in their personal garage, and even take one for a drive. This app is a fun way to indulge a child’s transportation fascination without having to stop to watch every digger, garbage truck, or school bus a child will happen to see.
When starting a new game, the player can choose from one of 12 avatars. After typing in a name, the player may choose to enter the garage or create a car. The first time a child plays his garage will, of course, be empty.
There are two pages of body styles to choose from. Kids can pick a smart car, a sports car, or go with classics like a school bus, firetruck, or construction vehicle. After choosing a body style the player can add more details from five other categories including wheels, engines, rudders, and fun decals.
Billed as an educational game for 3 to 9-year-olds, Create a Car doesn’t teach writing or arithmetic, but it does encourage kids to use logic and to follow a project from beginning to end. Whether a child tries to recreate a mail truck to the letter of the law or lets his mind run wild by creating an ice cream truck boat, this universal iOS app gives children lots of choices.
Children can name and save their creations to the garage. The garage is not just where a kid can store his cars, he can also drive them. Driving is an easy minigame where the player tries to see how far he can drive without running out of fuel. Younger children will certainly be able to manage the simple controls, and will likely be delighted to see their creations hit the virtual road.
Download Create a Car from the App Store for $0.99.
What I liked: The game avatars were very cute and a bit surprising — there was a pirate, a robot, and even a mime.
What I didn’t like: There were a lot of instructions that most pre-schoolers probably couldn’t read, but presumably they could figure out how to play even without this information. The game settings screen was completely blank, as if the developer forgot to finish it. Also, the looped soundtrack couldn’t be muted, so I had to turn the iPad volume down, but had to turn the volume up again when it was time to start the car.
To buy or not to buy: Kids who are fascinated with cars will enjoy Create a Car. Since the app lets up to 5 players, and a guest create accounts, it’s a great value for large families.
- App Name: Create a Car
- Version Reviewed: 1.7
- Category: Education
- Developer: ABCya
- Price: $0.99