Toca Life World: Build Stories App Review

Toca Life World is a storytelling game where you can interact with the world around you to create items (or drama) by moving the object around the world.

In the game, you can explore cities, vacation retreats, office blocks, hospitals, and many more real-life areas. 

There is no real aim to this game; you simply interact with the world and see how your choices affect the people and objects around you.

The closest games to compare Toca Life World with are Sims and Animal Crossing.

Is Toca Life World Educational? 

Although Toca Life isn’t considered an educational game, it does allow children to interact with an adult world. Toca Boca (the company that made Toca Life and all its expansion packs) wanted to spark children’s imaginations through the power of play. Their idea was to help them learn about the adult world from a safe and fun distance. 

The design of Toca Life was purely created with children’s perspectives in mind. This way, their hospitals can be educational, fun, and not bloody at the same time.

For example, in the hospital part of the world, children can learn how an x-ray can show you bones, learn about the heart rate monitors and what makes the heart rate go up and down, and learn what nurses, doctors, and orderlies roles are.

What Skills Do You Learn By Playing Toca Life World?

With each loading screen, the players are shown a new recipe to create in the game. Although cooking in Toca Life World is nothing like cooking in the real world, it shows kids how they can mix and match ingredients to create meals they already know.

It allows your children to identify how food is created, with what ingredients, and using what equipment. The cooking process is simple, all they need to do is put the ingredients onto the right equipment, but the process will help them see the same real-life ingredients as an achievable recipe.

Other parts of the game also show how interacting with different objects can create different effects in the world, some of which are hard to turn back. For example, in the holiday expansion, you can put a seal in the fishing hole and turn it into ice.

This is when the game becomes a little less educational, as the creators couldn’t possibly predict every choice your kids make. If the children then decide to put the ice on the fire (which is a logical reaction to defrost the seal), the ice will not melt. 

This means that there are some skills or educational drawbacks, but as we said before, the game isn’t trying to be academic; it is simply an entertainment game with educational points. 

What Can Toca Life World Be Played On?

Toca World Life can be played on APK, Android, iOS, and PC. 

If you play on Google Play (Android), you can pass on your store-bought items to other Android devices, which means that buying a new phone doesn’t mean losing all of your data.

However, if you swap to a different brand, like iOS or PC, you will not be able to transfer your old purchases to the new device.

This is an unusual flaw that should only affect your life if you change devices often. Most players shouldn’t be affected by this issue.

Is There In-Game Buying?

There is loads of in-game buying material in Toca Life World, as you will need to spend between $0.50 and $4 to purchase world expansions or new fun activities. Unfortunately, you do need to spend money to explore the whole world.

The App is aimed at young people, so they try to prevent children from accidentally making purchases by asking them to enter an adult year of birth for each purchase.

Younger children will likely be confused and put off by this question, but older kids (especially those who can read) might be able to bypass this security clearance.

If you think your children will get past this security measure, we suggest talking to them about financial implications and asking permission.

Because there is so much paid content available, it is understandable that many players get frustrated with the “pay-to-win” platform. However, you can create in-game currency to expand your world, and the game doesn’t have a typical “winning” progression. Like Sims, it’s all about interaction.

What If I Already Have Toca Life City?

Toca Life has lots of content expansion that you might already have on your phone. These apps are called Toca Life City, Toca Life Vacation, Toca Life Office, and the list goes on.

If you already own these expansions, they will come preloaded onto your game when you install Toca Life World. This means that you don’t have to pay for this content again! Phew, one less thing to worry about!

The same goes the other way. You don’t need to buy the additional content to play the game, however, you might feel limited as you “complete” the game early. There are 39 different characters in the game, so in reality, it will take a long time for you to run through all the possibilities of the game.

What Age Is Toca Life World Aimed At?

If you look in the App Store or Google Play, you’ll see that the official age rating is between 6 and 12; however, there is a massive Toca Community online, which shows that even adults love the game.

The music is soothing, the game is slow-paced, and there is so much to explore that anyone can enjoy this calming game.

That being said, some of the content is clearly aimed at children, like figuring out how to build a snowman. But most of the content is about customizing the character’s clothing and messing around with the objects in the houses.

Toca Life listens to the community, and because of that, they have added special items to the game, like slime. When slime was a big thing back in 2018 (and even now), the creators realized that their players wanted to join in with their slimy creation in the game.

Toca Life made this happen, and they continue to listen to the players today!

Is Toca Life Completely Customizable?

Although you can customize your characters by making them wear different items, it isn't as customizable as other games in the same genre.

In Animal Crossing, for example, the size of your home is determined by how far you are in the game, but the items you choose to create are up to you. The item cannot be customized, but you can choose what you have in the rooms and in the world.

Sims is even more customizable as you can create your house completely to your liking. You can add in your own designs and manipulate your plot of land to the shape you desire. However, the shops and outdoor spaces cannot be edited (without a cheat code), so you are limited in some respects.

Toca Life’s building cannot be edited. The furniture cannot move around unless it has a distinct outline around them, and even then, you cannot turn it around as everything faces one direction.

Apart from finding and buying new clothes for the characters to wear or talking them to a hair salon, there are very few ways for you to customize the game.

Can Players Get Free Gifts?

Every week players can get free items. They are considered weekly gifts as a thank you for playing the game. This means that players don’t need to purchase items in the shop to get something new to play with; they can simply log on once a week to find the new item!

Final Verdict

Everything considered Toca Life World: Build Stories is an excellent game for children. Adults might be playing it, but the creators built the game with children in mind. There is no violence, sexual content, or foul language; you can safely let your children play the game without supervision.

Smart kids might realize that they could expand the game by buying content, so we suggest you talk to your kids about the real-life financial implications of purchasing content and about asking permission before attempting to buy anything.

The game is slightly customizable, but the real fun comes with mixing the objects with their environment. It is a great way for children to learn about the world and how it works, without dealing with the repercussions in real life.

A messy room in the game means finding it hard to locate their favorite bunny ears, which is just the same in real life.