Cars in Sandbox: Construction iPad App for Kids Product Review

Cars in Sandbox: –°onstruction is an interactive car and trucks game designed for children. Cars in Sandbox introduces kids to one of the most interesting categories of transportation – construction vehicles! In the game, different construction vehicles and road-building machinery are represented by toy cars hard at work in the sandbox. All of the action takes place inside a sandbox as your child maneuvers the truck and performs tasks native to each type of vehicle! Once a task is completed properly your child earns a star on the level and can move on!

Cars in Sandbox is one of those iPad apps that does take a little getting used to – especially for little hands that like to move quickly. The trucks can be moved forward or backward with a simple point, or by tilting your screen. Operating each of the features is fairly easy and intuitive, and all can be done with a tap in the right place. Don’t get us wrong, the game itself and the activities you (or your child) are prompted to complete can be challenging, but overall the game is easy to use. The recommended age from iTunes is 4+…the company says younger kids can use the app as well. We think the younger the child the more involved the parent will need to be. We found that kids around 4 and up were able to use this game by themselves – younger kids needed Mom or Dads help.

We love the fact that there are no durability issues with an iPad game! No parts to lose – nothing to misplace! And if your child deletes it by accident – just download it again!

The animation is bright, vibrant and fun! All of the trucks look like the real thing and have wonderful animated features including doors that open and close, horns that honk and real-style moving parts. Very well designed from a visual perspective!

Functionality is always tricky with an iPad app. Some of our parents think a simple well designed game is strong enough to earn all of the starts in our functionality category. It seems that others are seeking out games with as many levels as your interactive Wii or Xbox games. With that said, there are a number of trucks to use and activities to perform, but as most apps tend to go a bit further we would have liked to see this game go a bit deeper in levels.

Just like functionality, we think we just might be getting a bit spoiled when it comes to the price of apps. With a suggested retail price of $1.99 it is hard to say that Cars in Sandbox: Construction costs too much. However – with so many 99-cent apps out there, we do have to say that we would have liked it at that price point instead of double. Either way you look at it – for the price of a cup of coffee you can get your child a game they will enjoy – so really – not too bad on the pricing.

Absolutely original concept to our team – and we loved it! By combining things that kids love – trucks and sandboxes – and coming up with a unique way for them to interact with cool tasks – we think the Thematica folks are right on with their concept!

Like we said before – apps tend to be a bit tricky to rate. They almost always score well in durability and originality because they are all so new. Pricing is almost always strong as well, because most apps for kids don’t cross that $2.00 line. With all of that working in their favor, an app just needs to play well, be easy to use and functional…and we are happy to say this app is all of that. Yes, we would have liked to see the challenges change and more levels develop – but hopefully that will take place in the updates. With a price tag of just $1.99 you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to spend less than $2 to keep your child happily occupied on your iPad.

Manufacturer: Thematica
Recommended Age: 4 years and up
Retail Price: $1.99
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