Chuggington Traintastic Adventure is an app for iPad that my son spends a great deal of his screen time with.

We have a few sets of the Chuggington interactive set at home, and my son loves to build large tracks with them. They work well and stay together well, even on carpet, so I was interested to review this new app as our interactive set is one of three Chuggington sets on the market.

I did not know what to expect from this app, and was curious about my son’s take, as he prefers to build tracks and decorate the surrounding areas with his other toys such as dinosaurs or blocks – with less interest in the trains themselves. I had hoped that there would be some sort of building or laying down of tracks to suit my son’s love of train tables – not specifically trains.

The main section of this app, Build and Play is a sprawling area complete with tracks. Choose a train from the roundabout to wake up and take for a ride. Personalization is included, such as which train to choose, as well as attachment cars or other fun choices such as headlights or a speed booster. Drag a finger from the front of the train around the track anywhere the track can take you. There is a vastness to this track which makes up for the inability to move these tracks by oneself, and my son loves moving the cars around to different areas of this app, such as the the quarry or safari area in this engaging, surprisingly relaxing application.

One will notice coins floating over the tracks. Passing under these coins will cause the train to stop and be given a selection of train elements such as buildings, traffic stops, bell, or light post, which corresponds to the coin in question, then dragging the object where arrows show, further adding details to this app.

Seventy-eight of these coins exist, and I am sure that many children would adore this added, sticker-type element. However, my son honestly found these coins intrusive in his free play, enjoying this app even more after having found all of these coins. He is now free to move about the screen dragging long paths for these trains instead of having to stop every few inches.

I do not consider the inclusion of coins to be a huge flaw, but my son would have really appreciated the chance to have a free-play mode for this section, also being able to drop the correlating coin elements anywhere he desired on the screen, allowing more creativity as well.

I do like the ability to change the angles from which one is looking at the track with the pinch and zoom of fingers, but I wish one could see the track looking straight down as well as the entire track as a whole in order for players to get their bearing when looking for a specific location as well.

Players are able to look at the train elements they have earned through these coins in the My Collection section of this app, but I wish narration explained each item as kids new to Chuggington may not remember the specific buildings they gather. A series of video clips are also included that my son has enjoyed viewing.

There are four adventures also included where children will take more of a guided tour in these narrative-based sections, as the children follow specific paths laid out to perform certain acts such as gathering rocks from the quarry or other adventures.

Even though my son was not a huge fan of the coins, the number of hours he has spent with this app is quite impressive and shows no sign of slowing down in terms of interest.

Because of this, Chuggington Traintastic Adventures would make a great choice for children to use during traveling this holiday season, or merely as a gift for young train lovers.

It is simply not possible to pack up a train set for children to bring with them, so this app is perfect for all the down-time kids may experience. This app would make a nice gift of substance for any child who enjoys trains.

My son finds this app quite relaxing as do I, having fallen asleep next to him as he plays, listening to the included music which I find both upbeat as well as relaxing.

Although I have been somewhat critical during this review, I can recommend this app just the way it is, as Chuggington Traintastic Adventures is on the short list of apps for my son to spend time with.

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