Blox 3D City Creator

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Blox 3D City Creator App Poster Image
Blocky builder is solid but has tricky controls.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can work on spatial reasoning skills and use their creativity.

Ease of Play

Introductory tutorial is minimal. Some kids will get frustrated with mechanics before being drawn in. 

Violence & Scariness

If you place a robber and a cop on the same piece of map, the cop will shoot the robber, causing him to explode in a puff of red. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Large buttons promoting the publisher's other apps appear on the menu screen. These have a parent gate, which requires swiping with a certain number of fingers. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Blox 3D City Creator is a block-based, sandbox-style building program from the same publisher as Blox 3D Junior and Blox 3D World Creator. There's a brief tutorial animation, a short help section, and some sample files. Still, kids may need help figuring out what to do and how to do it. Younger kids will likely struggle with the controls as well as the perspective of the pieces. They may also need help figuring out how to get the pieces together. If kids place a cop and a robber in the same area, the cop will chase and shoot at the robber until he explodes in a puff of red (the same effect that happens when kids destroy an entire build). Kids' saved content is immediately published in the global library (appearing in each app) and on the website without moderation. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

BLOX 3D CITY CREATOR is an open-ended block-based building program in the vein of using Lego bricks or designing in Minecraft. Kids start with a mostly empty land block, or they can build on a pre-existing cityscape. They have 50 specific items, such as a helipad with helicopter, a train, an ambulance, a number of buildings, roads, train tracks, etc. There are five people (man, woman, boy, cop, robber) and a bird. And then there are 20 building block items that can be placed in 12 colors. Kids can also control the environment with day, afternoon, night, rain, snow, or black and white settings. Each cityscape has an animation that shows how it was built. When kids save a creation, it automatically uploads it to the global library, which appears on their website.

Is it any good?

Though there are lots of features, finicky controls may make this experience too frustrating for some. Blox 3D City Creator does offer cool on-screen elements that you can't get with analog blocks, the best of which may be the animated replay of the building process. This allows kids to watch other people's builds and learn from them. Many of the objects also automatically animate when placed on-screen (the boy runs around, the helicopter lands and then takes off again), which adds to the fun. On the other end of the spectrum, the controls and perspective are frustrating. If you make a mistake, there's no "undo," requiring kids to double-tap an item to delete it. It's easy to double-tap in the wrong place, deleting the wrong item, or adding a new item entirely. As kids rotate the city, the objects in the menu don't move, but their alignment relative to the user does change. This leaves kids having to guess which of the four staircases or two roads will be facing in the correct direction when they are placed in the city. There's also a lack of basic blocks. Kids can add a flag or a windmill, but there's no flat plank piece or bridge (in-game people won't cross roads without a bridge). For kids who love building games and apps, this might be a nice addition, as long as they have the patience to get the hang of the interface and controls.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about building with blocks in real life and Blox 3D City Creator. How can you create the buildings you imagine with a standard set of blocks or bricks?

  • Families can talk about learning with apps. Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What can you learn? 

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love building and simulation apps

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