A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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.
Excites the imagination; kids build working vehicles using Lego-like components.
Positive Role Models
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 & Scariness
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.