Tonka: Trucks Around Town

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Tonka: Trucks Around Town App Poster Image
Branded vehicle missions fun for truck lovers.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn what five different vehicles can do. They'll also need fine motor control and hand-eye coordination to control the vehicles.

Ease of Play

Vehicles can be difficult to control, and missions require some coordination.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

App inherently promotes Tonka brand of toy trucks, though there's no explicit marketing push. Small icon on home screen advertises additional app from same developer, but users must pass through parent gate after tapping on it.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tonka: Trucks Around Town offers digital versions of the classic toys of the same name. Kids drive various Tonka vehicles through a number of different scenes and complete mini-missions that ask them to use the vehicle's special capabilities (for example, put out fires with the fire truck or pick up garbage with the garbage truck). The controls to drive and operate the vehicles can be tricky; kids will likely need a bit of practice. The free download includes the dump truck, but parents will need to make an in-app purchase to unlock the other vehicles. Buy individual vehicles for $1.99 each, or unlock them all for $4.99. 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.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bykazzoo May 7, 2019

Epic gamer

A true classic, I wait all year for Trucktober. But alas it is not everyday. So i got this app I get to experience the glory of Trucktober every day.

What's it about?

Choose your vehicle and then a "work site" to get started with TONKA: TRUCKS AROUND TOWN. Each vehicle -- fire truck, helicopter, dump truck, bulldozer, and garbage truck -- has a unique job to do in each of the four settings. For example, the dump truck picks up and drops off big loads. Driving controls at the bottom of the screen let kids move the vehicle forward and backward, and a separate button activates the vehicle's function. As kids drive, they run into missions to complete. A puzzle game lets kids put the pieces of each vehicle together as they hear relevant fun facts.

Is it any good?

This truck-themed game caters exclusively to the kind of kids who can stand, transfixed, in front of a construction site for hours on end. Little kids who love trucks will be delighted by the realistic sound effects and fun facts about truck parts, functions, and usage. Mini-missions help them pretend to use all the cool things the trucks can do, and add a bit of excitement to an otherwise pretty static drive. Yet, despite a few features unique to the digital platform (for example, sound effects, fun facts), kids may get more out of just playing with the actual trucks. And, without the passion that true truck enthusiasts bring to the app, Tonka: Trucks Around Town isn't all that interesting. Missions are repetitive and sparsely distributed, so kids spend a lot of time doing the same thing over and over or driving back and forth with no additional opportunities to interact with the app. Driver controls are not very precise, and it can be difficult to maneuver the vehicles. Placing the controls at the bottom of the screen away from the trucks themselves doesn't help. And occasionally, technical issues confuse kids as missions don't line up with what's available on the screen. In the end, it's an app that's best for little kids with trucks on the brain.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the branding aspect of Tonka: Trucks Around Town. Are they more interested in the app because it's associated with Tonka Trucks? Why or why not?  

  • Help your kids learn more about their favorite vehicle types. Listen to the fun facts included in the app and ask them about what they learned. Help them find out more with books or videos.

  • Point out any construction or work vehicles you see around town. Take a few minutes to stop at a construction site and talk about what all the different machinery does.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Skills: Tech Skills: using and applying technology
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (Free download includes one truck. Make in-app purchase to buy additional trucks for $1.99 each or $4.99 for all.)
  • Release date: February 13, 2019
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Cars and Trucks
  • Size: 542.00 MB
  • Publisher: PlayDate Digital Inc.
  • Version: 1.0.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.0.3 and up
  • Last updated: April 12, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love cars and trucks

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