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This is key art for the app Toca Train. A blue and gold train with red trim and wheels is in the background and an older conductor or driver stands to the right of the frame

to Toca
Train

Jens Peter de Pedro

Play Designer

Kids love trains. But why? During the concept development phase of this project I tried to understand what it is that fascinates children about trains.

I talked to people who have interest in trains, and one person told me she thought the reason people like her love trains is because their minds operate like trains. Their thinking is powerful, always moving forward. Every thought is followed until its end, and at the end of that thought there is another one that begins seamlessly. Once they have found a favorite realm, they like to return to it and examine every nook and cranny. They take pride in mastering their domain, steadily gaining control.

The workings of the minds of these people inspired the way we designed Toca Train. With it, I hope you too will be able to get into the flow of the train mind state.

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How to play

Explore

  • While looking at the train from the outside, make sure to swipe on the screen to swivel around and gaze at the landscape.

  • Drive the train by pulling the lever on the edge of the screen or on the inside of the train.

  • When a sign shows up covering the number 0 on the lever, press that sign to stop..

  • You may carry up to four passengers and one piece of cargo on the train.

  • The train returns to the starting point after a while.

  • There is no goal other than whatever objective you set up for yourself.

To talk about

There are three passenger stations: Millvill, Bergsby and Tiltstad. In between each one there is a cargo station, these are: a mill, a storehouse and a lumber station.

A topic of conversation could be where the characters are coming from and where they might possibly want to go. What are their intentions? Something else to talk about is why certain cargo only come from certain stations. Who could need an empty container of milk? Where would the new sawblade be of use? Why do things need to be transported?

Settings

In the Settings app in iOS, you will find a panel for Toca Train. Please note that this isn’t in the app itself since we didn’t want to interfere with the user experience too much.

  • Music – Turn off the music to better hear the environment sounds.

  • News – The buttons in the menu screen that shows our other available apps will not be displayed.