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Design notes

Letter from the play designer

Hey there! It’s time to go on vacation!

Get ready for a shining sun and good times with the fourth app in the Toca Life series, Toca Life: Vacation. As with the previous apps, Toca Life: Vacation puts kids in the director’s seat to make up their own stories. There are no rules or scripted scenarios; it’s all up to your kid to decide what happens to the inhabitants of Toca Life.

We have a new cast of characters and fun scenes that we hope you’ll enjoy in our biggest app yet. You and your kid can tell all kinds of stories about going on vacation: Play with who you vacation with, how you travel to get there, what you do when you arrive and how you live there. Toca Life is great for playing with your kid or for your kid to play together with a friend.

Maybe start at the airport location. Check your bags, pass through security and head toward your gate. Once you’re on the plane, relax and have a snack! After your flight, check out the sightseeing location: Enjoy the view at the boardwalk, take a photo in the cut-out stand or find a nice gift in the shop.

Time to get a place to stay! Check into one of the many rooms in the hotel, enjoy the buffet and maybe play a little with the elevator. Who else is staying there? After unpacking your luggage, it might be a good time to hit the beach. Enjoy the sun with an ice cream, have a party or discover the big ocean filled with sea creatures.

We’ve listened to many kids while creating Toca Life: Vacation, and brought some of the most wished for places to explore on your journey.

With updates and more exciting additions to the Toca Life series coming in the near future, we hope you’ll find Toca Life a place that encourages the storyteller in everyone.

Have a great stay and please enjoy your vacation!
Petter Karlsson, Play Designer


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How to play

What to do

On the map screen, tap on a building to visit one of the various locations. You’ll find lots of things to do in each location.


  • Move characters around to act out situations.
  • Dress up characters by dragging hats and masks lying around onto their heads.
  • Change characters’ costumes by dragging them onto their bodies.
  • Give characters food or drinks by dragging edible items to their mouths.
  • Give characters things to hold by dragging objects to their hands. If you give a character an item to hold, they’ll bring it with them even if you go to another location.


  • Move objects around to set up for different scenarios.
  • Toggle certain objects by tapping them, such as putting out and lighting candles and programming on a laptop computer.
  • Tap some objects — like the water faucet in the kitchen or fridge doors — to get different results.

Everything is saved the way you left it as you leave a location. There are lots of things to do like throwing stuff in the trash, flushing the toilet and taking a shower. Explore the app with a curious mind and you’ll find a lot of surprises!

To talk about

With Toca Life we want to supply a toolbox that will let you and your child act out as many different situations as possible. You can play hide and seek, clean up a messy place or prepare a family breakfast. It’s especially interesting to explore everyday situations that your kid isn’t usually in charge of, like getting ready for school or going shopping at the mall. What would happen if your kid were the boss of these things? A lot of crazy things, maybe, but you might also find a lot more responsibility than you thought your kid was capable of in these situations. What else would you be interested in seeing your kid handle?


All your characters can be accessed by tapping the sidewalk sign in the bottom right-hand corner. You can also transport the characters and anything they are holding between locations via the sidewalk.


Screen recording
You might notice a blue film reel icon in the top right corner when you are in a location. This is the screen recording feature. It records microphone input along with anything you do on the screen. Press the button to activate it and you and your kids can record the stories they make. Each recording lasts a maximum of two minutes. Afterward you can choose to preview, export to camera roll or delete your video.


Reset button
If your locations are starting to feel a bit too messy, you can do a quick cleanup by pressing the reset button in the top right corner of the map screen. Everything will be magically tidied and all of your characters’ hairstyles and clothing will reset to their default settings.


Are you missing some items you have seen before? Or maybe you’d like to redecorate your home? Head over to the storage location on the map. In it you can find seasonal items and outfits that have been packed away. You’ll also find a bunch of storage boxes you can bring with you and fill up. Maybe pack a box with things you don’t need right now and move it to storage for later use.


Life Weekly
Life Weekly is your source for fun insights into the world of Toca Life! Located in the top right corner on the start screen, this feature offers fun videos and the best tips, and is updated weekly to give you the inside scoop.


If you’d like to have a bit of peace and quiet while your kids are playing Toca Life, just go to settings on your device and switch off the music in the app. You also have the option to turn off the icons on the start screen for what we call Toca News, as well as for the For Grown-Ups section, which you are reading now.

The Team


Viktor Khan, Freelance animator
Fille Åström, Freelance programmer
Markus Gustavsson, Freelance programmer
Elvira Björkman, Music
Håkan Lidbo, Freelance Music & sound
Jonas Kjellberg, Freelance Music
Klara Miesenberger de Morais, QA


The Toca Life series is made possible through a dedicated game team but also by using various open source plugins, other open source software and sometimes we work with friends or others companies that we like to acknowledge.