Snuggle Truck

Common Sense Media says

Level creator extends replayability of physics-based racer.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
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7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The game offers a number of clearly labeled easy and medium difficulty levels, giving the player ample time to build up skills before attempting a more advanced course. The physics in the game is very reactive, though -- meaning if you're a perfectionist who doesn't want to lose any of the stuffed animals in the back of your pickup, it's going to be a lot harder.

Violence & scariness

Stuffed animals often fall out of the truck and land with a squeak, but are never shown as damaged. 

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

In the iOS version of the app, which is free to install, players can make in-app purchases to buy trucks, unlock levels, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Players can opt in to Apple's Game Center to track scores and achievements, and for some games, challenge friends. Players can send and receive friend requests using an email address or Game Center nickname, revealing the first and last name associated with each party's Apple ID and, in the case of email requests, the sender's email address. With iOS 5, players can opt to have a private or public profile, which can include a photo. With a public profile, your real name is visible to all other players, and Game Center will recommend you to other players using your real name. With a private profile, only your friends can see your real name, and Game Center will not recommend you to other players.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Snuggle Truck is a physics-based arcade racing game that forces players to keep their pickup truck filled with stuffed animals level as it navigates hills and valleys -- trying to avoid letting any fall out. The game's emphasis is on cute, but parents should be aware that it originally was dubbed Smuggle Truck -- and rather than driving a truck full of stuffed critters, it was a truck full of illegal aliens from Mexico. (Apple banned the app and the developers adjusted it to this; both apps are available for Android devices.) While the core gameplay is unchanged, there are no signs of the original theme. Users can create their own levels and share them via a level portal, which ranks the best and most popular user-generated maps. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

What kids can learn

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Fun for snack gaming (3- to 5-minute bursts), but not especially compelling. Most redeeming feature is an online community where people can share levels they create.

Learning Approach

Snuggle Truck teaches some rudimentary physics concepts to kids as they see how a truck and its contents are affected by high-speed acceleration and sudden drop-offs. The extensive level editor lets kids express their creativity,

Support

Level Portal online community lets people share levels they create. Players can opt in to Apple's Game Center to track scores and achievements, and for some games, challenge friends. Players can send friend requests.

What kids can learn

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Kids can learn about physics and gravity as they build their own levels. Through trial and error, they'll learn the effects of a steep climb or drop and how to use those to their advantage. The game's level creator also lets them explore their creativity. Snuggle Truck lets kids create and explore new worlds and show off their creative endeavors. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

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What's it about?

Kids tap the screen to move their truck forward and propel it through a series of hills and valleys, while trying to keep the stuffed animals in their truck's bed from falling out. The more animals they keep in the truck, the higher their score. Players can retry levels as many times as necessary -- and can even build their own in the level creator. They do this by dragging objects on screen from a collection of items and choosing which trucks can be used. These maps can be shared with other players through an in-game tool.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The dubious history of SNUGGLE TRUCK aside (it was originally created as Smuggle Truck and players carried illegal aliens from Mexico in the back of their vehicle; both Snuggle and Smuggle are available for Android devices), this is actually a fairly well-done game. It's quick to reward players and the physics is very responsive. The problem is, the app store is fairly flooded with side-scrolling racer arcade games, and there's not enough here to really stand out from the crowd. It's fun and perfect for snack gaming (3- to 5-minute bursts), but won't be something you find yourself going back to again and again. The most redeeming feature is the Level Portal, an online community where people can share the levels they create, giving the game enhanced replayability, should it capture your fancy. 

Families can talk about...

  • Let kids build real-world obstacle courses for their toy cars and see physics working in reality.

  • Toss several balls in the air and let kids try to catch them with a basket.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:Free-$3.99
Release date:August 3, 2011
Category:Racing Games
Topics:Cars and trucks
Size:28.00 MB
Publisher:Owlchemy Labs
Version:1.5
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later; Android requirements vary with device

This review of Snuggle Truck was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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