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Best iPad games: Toca Band

Bizarre, brilliant musical plaything intended for kids but secretly for adults too

Apple has revolutionised how we consume and play portable games with iPhone and iPad. In this new regular series, CVG discovers and celebrates the most innovative new iPad games on the App Store. Click through the link to find our full list of the best iPad games.


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Best iPad games: Toca Band

Also available on:
iPhone

Okay, so Toca Band isn't really a game. Like all of developer Toca Boca's releases, it is a plaything, an App Store toy to rival anything you might find lying around on an average kid's bedroom floor.

It will captivate young'uns and, secretly, crowbar an easy grin from the older generation. Its star is a rapping blue blob with oversized orange aviators and a bright red button for a nose. Its supporting cast, 15 other cartoon creations, all represent different parts of Toca Band's oddball orchestra.

The band plays one single infectious, procedurally-generated ditty from Swedish musician Hakan Lidbo, and placing and swapping its characters about builds and shifts the tune around. The percussion section's most charismatic character is a chef with a drum in his belly. A frog chorus adds bounce, a bright blue double bass throws in some funk and a warbling grandma adds ethereal choral soul. There's a whistling, triangular wild-west sheriff and a nervous green gentleman whose knocking knees produce galloping castonette clacks.

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Place a character on one of two higher blue platforms and their part becomes more pronounced in Toca Band's symphony for the under tens. Plonk someone on the middle podium and they play a smaller part, and the lower ground offers only sporadic squeaks, honks or songs as they merge into the body of the main theme to become supporting acts.

Solo artists are accommodated, too - the star platform in the centre is the chance to play with each of the 16 characters' sounds individually, bending the pitch of their la-la-la's or twanging their strings to somehow play the xylophone.

Toca Band is a fantastic plaything for all ages and a wonderful musical distraction for kids. A touch screen toy rather than a video game in the traditional sense, it is an example of an app which doesn't have to have stages or objectives or failstates - sometimes simple play is enough to captivate.

Toca Band is £1.49 on the App Store. Download it here.

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