A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
TOCA LIFE: HOSPITAL is a five-story virtual dollhouse in a hospital setting. With the more than 30 characters of various ages, ethnicities, and even species, kids can create whatever scenario is in their minds. Each of the hospital floors has a different theme. On the lower level, there's the ambulance bay and maintenance area where kids can dress staff, find cleaning supplies, put away items in lockers, do laundry, and interact with a robot. On the main level, kids find the ER, cafeteria, and ATM. On the first floor, it's radiology, with X-rays and an MRI, and the surgery. Second floor has pediatrics, with toys and colorful walls, and the nursery with maternity clothes, an ultrasound, and lots of babies. And the third floor seems like a family long-term-care wing. There are a number of patient rooms, a space for families to spend the night, a lounge, and what appears to be a Fennec fox in a glass-walled atrium. In addition to the settings, each level comes with a huge array of props to play with. Because there's so much to do in every single space, kids could spend hours and never repeat an activity. Kids who love to tell stories can record approximately two minutes of animated play including their own voice to save to the device.
Is it any good?
There are so many rooms and objects to explore in this virtual hospital that younger kids may actually be overwhelmed. Toca Life: Hospital is fun, silly, and overloaded with detail. Kids who are awaiting a new baby in their life may appreciate acting out their excitement and nervousness in the hospital nursery. Other kids may want to reenact a visit to a grandparent or sick relative or prepare for a hospital stay of their own. Parents may want to walk through the app with younger kids early on to give them a basic overview of the various rooms, but really little ones will just enjoy tapping and dragging things around. The ability to record video adds some incentive to create stories of their own, and they'll be delighted to see the replay of their own animated tales. There are some quirks with picking up tiny objects and some mysterious objects that aren't exactly clear, but no one will care if the realism is stretched a bit in the name of creativity. Despite some shortcomings, this one is a great value and bound to provide hours of quality playtime for kids of all ages.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about a trip to the hospital. Why might you go to a hospital? What types of things might you see? Is there anything in Toca Life: Hospital that seems like it might be pretend?
Talk about screen use. How do you like this app as compared with other apps you could play? If you have limited time for screen use, would you pick this app over other apps on your device? Why, or why not?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Language & Reading: storytelling
- Skills: Creativity: imagination
- Price: $2.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: April 12, 2017
- Category: Kids' Games
- Size: 220.00 MB
- Publisher: Toca Boca
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.3 and up