Monday, 29 October 2012

TOCA Tailor by Toca Boca (Bonnier Digital) - iPad App

One of the things Toca Boca do well is respinning the sort of apps that are extremely common on the app store with the 'Toca Boca' take on things. This usually means high production values and hour after hour of your little ones being totally absorbed in their brightly coloured world.

Toca Tailor is no exception. We've seen a million and one dress-up apps, and most like to ensure that though you get a free app, you pay through the nose for content.

Toca Tailor draws a line neatly through this by having fairly well-defined boundaries, within which you are free to create some of the wildest and whackiest fashion creations for your cute and appealing Toca characters.

First, you start by discretely adjusting the length of your character's dress /shirt and sleeves. Then you can begin to accessorise with a range of hair decorations, jewellery and other goodies. Last but by no means least you can pick through different types of shoes and boots for your character.

So far, so good, it all sounds pretty standard but there's a neat twist to proceedings when you realise that you aren't limited to the built-in patterns on offer here. In fact, with the aid of your iPad (or iPhone) camera, you can sample textures and patterns from the real world.

Quickly grab a pattern with the camera, move it and size it on your character's dress (or sleeves) and then add buttons, clips and all sorts of other little touches to truly make your design stand out (Charlotte drew the line at the game's rather brilliant selection of buttons - she still has that button phobia, even when you're talking about a virtual set!)

Once you've finished creating a fashion masterpiece, you can take a photo of your character AR-style. Place her in your room, next to you, even standing on your shoulder.

Like most of the Toca Boca apps, children can lose themselves for hours in something that is, in essence, a fairly simple core idea given some serious window dressing.

We picked the app up when it was at its introductory price (69p) and Toca Boca stuff can go as high as £2.49 so grab it while you can while it's still cheap.

Charlotte's best bit: Taking photos of her characters 'cuddling' her, and taking a photo of her T Shirt design so her character and her can be "Twins, Identical Twins!"

Daddy's favourite bit: A very slick take on the 'dress up' genre. As great as this is, it does lay down some fairly rigid parameters early on (like most Toca Boca apps seem to) - that said, it does keep Charlotte occupied for ages so a big thumbs up.