Toca Mystery House
Toca Boca, 2018
Yes, this is a review of a mobile game/interactive experience for ages six to eight. No, I will not be taking any questions regarding my motivations in reviewing it.
Toca Mystery House, like many of Toca Boca's other kids' apps, is less a game, more a digital toy. There are no win conditions, and barely any objectives. This is a point in its favour.
The creepy, run-down mystery house is lovingly detailed with peeling wallpaper, a decaying lift, shattered test tubes and mysterious slime. As you explore the house, you'll discover different rooms, each with its own inhabitants and experiments to try.
A lab monster transforms when you mix up different potions to feed it, a thing in the fridge fridge sucks up (or ejects?) goo, and a musical ogre lets you ting their teeth. Elsewhere, the ceiling peels away to reveal strange constellations and a pair of mysteriously alien figures invite you to unfold a glowing box.
It's all very cute, engaging and nicely animated, with good use of sound, although there's not really all that much to find and do, so you/the child you were hoping to distract may not get very extended play out of it.
Despite its mysterious and mildly creepy setting, there's nothing here that'll upset your average four-year-old, but it's absorbing enough to be a satisfying fidget app for adults, too.
Toca Mystery House costs 4.49€ on the Google Play Store and is free with Play Pass. It's also on iOS for 3.99€.
Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/app/apple-store/id1380057710