If monsters were real, the first thing I’d do would be to gather a few together, stack them up into a huge wobbling tower, then push them over. You’re the same, right? Of course you are.
Good news! There’s a game for exactly that. It’s called TotemUp, Knock-em Down, and has been released for iPhone and iPad by children’s apps developer Minilab Studios, which previously made marvellous apps Artie’s Magic Pencil and Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System.
Pitched as a “simple, fun and easy digital toy for young builders”, the game starts with hatching a monster from an egg, then changing its face, shape and pattern before releasing it into the wild. Then repeating the process.
“Watch as your little animated block grows a pair of crazy arms, or wings, or tentacles, then stack the next creature on top of it and see how they play with each other,” explains the App Store listing. “Will they get along or not? Will they be tickled, scratched, poked, or simply just annoyed?”
Minilab reckons there are more than 200,000 possible creatures, given the various combinations children can play with. Once the tower is built, children can tap or shake their device to play with it, snap a picture, and then bring it tumbling down ready to build another one.
It’s really fun, with some educational elements around counting too: Minilab thinks it’ll help preschoolers start getting to grips with the numbers 1 to 10. It’s not the sole point of the app by any means, but it’s nice that it’s part of the creative play. Also we salute Minilab for the totem / tot ’em up double reference in the app’s name.
TotemUp, Knock-em Down costs £2.29 for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store.