Skyscrapers by Tinybop – Building Up A Kids App On iOS

4.0 Overall Score
Usability: 4/5
Design: 4.5/5
Duration: 4/5

Fun to the point of being deceptively educational | Easy to use | Neat interactive mechanics

Could use more detail on the how | Would be neat to have more interactions per mode

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Tinybop has built a name for themselves when it comes to kids apps. Their latest effort is Skyscrapers, which lets children explore the inner workings of tall buildings. The app begins by letting you create a building as tall as you want by dragging in different floors. Once you’re satisfied with the height, you can then change the building’s facade with different colors, spires, clock towers, and more. The app saves multiple buildings to jump between later, but the main emphasis of the app is exploring a particular building to see how it reacts under different scenarios.
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There are five main modes to explore; frame, foundation, elevator, water works, and electricity. Each mode has two views with a zoomed out and zoomed in perspective to interact with. Skyscrapers includes the familiar Tinybop interface with a tray to drag out from the left side to jump between modes, and then simply tappable items spread across the building. It’s easy for a child to jump between modes and views, and fully explore each aspect on their own. There are a lot of different elements included, and you can enable optional name tags to learn about the items available to interact with.

Skyscrapers details the inner workings of buildings in a very friendly and accessible manner. It’s even a bit fun to enable earthquakes, fires, lighting strikes, broken pipes, and more to then see how the building reacts. Each mode delivers an animated environment allowing you to plug up a toilet, turn off appliances, and activate elevators. The people in the skyscraper react to your taps a bit like Sim Tower to the point that people ride the elevators to specific floors, leave rooms when appliances are turned off, or evacuate floors when there’s a fire. There are some common sense ideas at work, but they’re reinforced in an intuitive manner. Whether it’s the protocol of fire evacuation, the grounding rod of each skyscraper, or the best foundation material for a tall building, you can pick up on these things by just exploring.

Skyscrapers by Tinybop ($2.99, Universal) is one of the developers best efforts to really make an engaging kids app that is well worth picking up if kids ever use your device.

$2.99, Universal


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