CONCEPT: Labo Lado are back with a train-themed app that builds on the successes of Labo Car Designer.
DELIVERY: The other day I was teaching game design with year 5 students. One of the key questions I asked was: what makes a game fun? Their responses included two key things - the ability to create things and a challenging objective.
We loved the Labo Lado car design app. It nailed the creativity aspect with its freedom in approach that saw kids design their own car and then actually play with it in a game setting. Our only regret was that the game itself amounted to an endless and target less driving activity. Still, it was awesome.
This is even better. Labo Train takes the same concept, be it with a locomotive twist, but adds in the challenge of an actual game to use your train creation with. There are 24 levels to play through with a physics puzzle style twist. Your train is pulling a cart of ten apples and you are only allowed to drop half of them. Using the four speed control switch, you alter the velocity of the train depending on the terrain to minimise spillage. To add to the challenge, a couple of obstacles appear on each level too - holes to fill with assorted bricks and blocks - before you can attempt to pass.
The actual design process remains as excellent as ever with choice of carriages, brushes to paint with, stickers and more to allow children to completely personalise their design. They can also snap an image of their creation, making a great piece of digital artwork or even a prompt for some writing.
LIMITATIONS: The obstacle challenges within the levels could prove quite tricky for youngsters until they realise that you can move the loose objects around with more than one finger!
CONCLUSION: A great idea made even better. A must have for younger students. 5/5
Art or DT projects
Creative writing prompts