Autocraft

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Autocraft Game Poster Image
Creative vehicle builder a bit rough around the edges.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the basics of vehicle design and apply their understanding of physics in this imaginative vehicle-building game. Experimenting with a variety of moving parts, including wheels, rockets, balloons, frame pieces, and power sources, players will come to better understand different physical concepts. They'll get a sense of their vehicle's center of gravity and the effects that rocket thrust can have on balanced and imbalanced vehicles, and they'll even get a feel for how objects jettisoned from moving craft maintain their momentum while falling. Autocraft lets kids explore their imaginations in fun ways while getting a handle on some of the basic physics concepts inherent in vehicular movement.

Positive Messages

Excites the imagination; kids build working vehicles using Lego-like components.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Robot-like human drivers simply sit in their seats. They say nothing and take no action.

Ease of Play

Not too hard. No instructions on how to build puzzles, and building them gets harder as the game progresses, but the function and use of most vehicle parts is self-evident. It's simply a matter of dragging them into place.    

Violence

Vehicles can crash and break into dozens of pieces. Pilots collapse into or are thrown from wreckage in rag-doll fashion. There's no blood, screaming, or broken bones. Pilots simply respawn uninjured when the vehicle is reset.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Autocraft is a downloadable vehicle-building game. It provides players with vehicle parts and lets them use both logic and their imaginations to piece cars, rockets, and other types of craft together however they want to achieve specific objectives. Vehicles can break apart, sending their human occupants sprawling in rag-doll fashion, but it's not suggested that they're seriously injured. There's no blood or depicted injuries, and the drivers respawn with their vehicles. Online interactions are limited to vehicles that players have created, uploaded, and shared in sandbox mode.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written bycooltooler May 13, 2015

Very good mixture of learning and playing

Don't listen to others who say this is a Minecraft rip-off just because of the title. This game is veeeeery different. Heck, Minecraft was a rip-off of Inf... Continue reading

What's it about?

Players get to design, build, and drive their own vehicles in AUTOCRAFT. Combining elements from games such as Minecraft and Bad Piggies, this Mac- and PC-exclusive indie provides players with a collection of vehicle parts and tasks them to build a ride that will let them achieve one or more environmental-traversal objectives. That includes goals such as reaching a finish zone in a set amount of time. Typical parts include metal frame pieces, wheels, and a human rider. More fanciful elements include rockets, light but fragile glass frame pieces, and hot-air balloons. Some parts can be edited, allowing players to change their specifications or the button used to work them. The more building puzzles you solve, the more pieces you unlock for sandbox mode, where you can build anything you like. You then can share your creations with the game's community or download vehicles created by other players. 

Is it any good?

Autocraft is pretty rough around the edges. The 3-D presentation is very rudimentary, and the physics system is a bit wonky -- especially during crashes, where pieces often endlessly rattle in place as though they were sitting on a giant vibrating platform. Steering controls can be pretty finicky, too, which takes some of the joy out of your joyrides. Plus, there are noticeable problems with the sandbox mode, where you can download other users' vehicles before you've earned all the parts for them, resulting in gimpy, half-functioning rides.

Get past these problems, though, and you'll find a wonderfully imaginative, fun, and often funny game full of emergent play possibilities. Figuring out how parts work together to build the right sort of vehicle to meet objectives is a blast, and doing it in innovative ways the game's designers may not have considered can be quite satisfying. What's more, the ability to edit the properties of specific pieces will appeal to kids who really enjoy tinkering with and perfecting their digital creations. Autocraft is an easy recommendation, warts and all, for kids who enjoy creative play.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what this game gets right and what it gets wrong in vehicle design. Would you have preferred more intricate relationships and connections among parts, or would that have made the experience needlessly complex?  

  • Discuss online privacy and Internet safety. Do you enjoy sharing your creations with the community and seeing what other people have made? Have you ever run across another user's creation that was in some way inappropriate? What did you do?

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