App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
There was a bit of a reversal in our home recently, as I was eager to introduce my son to a new app that I had downloaded onto our iPad: Tizzy ZigZag Cars, a car racing app with a heavy use of physics. Little did I know that my son had already taken a closer look at it earlier and was more than happy to walk me through what he had learned about this application. Tizzy ZigZag Cars allows children to build their own simple car as they choose front and back tires as well as the body, keeping in mind that the car will be flipping over and continuing to race as one drives on the included courses.
My boy and I appreciate that the selections include two sizes of wood and metal tires, as well as other choices that will directly affect how the car responds to the fantasy track that one will be driving on - possibly driving too fast and not maintaining enough control to collect star badges, or driving so slowly that you lose the momentum you need to move around the course. These tracks - fifteen in total - spread evenly over five different themes including space, candy, western, sports, and a colorful wood option. As the name may suggest, these tracks are reminiscent of the zigzag racetrack, also known as switchback or click-clack tracks, where gravity allows a car to roll down a series of ramps, flipping over to the reverse side of the vehicle as the car falls controllably to the next track to continue on. While these young children’s toys tend to be basic contraptions, the ZigZag tracks include a lot of interesting details that create almost a maze-like effect as one travels on a series of ramps - complete with loops, drops, and flags that will give the car a burst of speed when collected, as well as other themed objects it interacts with.
I appreciate allowing children to choose what track to race on, each being unlocked and ready for use, although they are numbered according to their level of complexity. While there are elements of free play within Tizzy ZigZag Cars, older children like my son (age six) will enjoy the challenge of searching for all the stars to be collected and driving to the finish line. Keeping this in mind, the player makes his tire selections to gain the best control of his car - an admirable thought process.
Each of these tracks is quite unique and adorned with whimsical details such as black and white cow-print backdrop or candy cane ramps in the western or candy section (my son’s favorite area). Personally I love the space theme, complete with very nice ambient music, beautiful marbled purple space backdrop, and metallic industrial tracks. Although a map of the track can be seen when first choosing an area, the view of this map is a little small for my liking, and it would be nice to be able to reference this alternate view during the race. Likewise, I would love a chance to be able to pinch or zoom the screen allowing the option to pull back my vantage point to see more of the the puzzle-like track as a whole instead of just the area where the car is traveling at the moment.
Tizzy ZigZag Cars has kept the interest of my son, who really enjoys tilting the iPad to navigate the car around the track. I also find that the tilting of the device left or right works well, without such issues as over steering due to the way the iPad is moved, but may be problematic based on the tire choices - a fun problem to have that children will enjoy working on. I am also fond of the fact that, although a slight element of personalization is included as children can choose their tires and car body as well as a few color selections, this app has avoided too much focus on decorations that I have found in other apps such as the bells, whistles, and stickers that can become unnecessary clutter and take away from the focus of driving.
Tizzy ZigZag Cars is a bit of a departure for Tizzy Labs, well known for their themed creative play apps such as Tizzy Driving Adventure or Tizzy Seasons but I have really enjoyed watching them branch out into this physics-heavy driving game that my son really enjoys. I look forward to seeing what new applications they may develop next. It is worth noting that I have had the pleasure of reviewing the full version of this app, but a free version also exists to allow children to see what Tizzy ZigZag Cars is all about before purchasing all the different themes. I do prefer having a choice between trying the lite version and I do hope that other developers will consider this a viable option instead of releasing an app that solely contains in-app purchases - which I am almost never a fan of. It would be nice, however, to hide the small ad for their other apps within the parents' link in order not to attract attention from the child players.
With this small note, Tizzy ZigZag Cars is an easy app to recommend.