Fun Town is a new educational app aimed at 2-6 year old kids for Android and iOS devices. The game is developed by Touch & Learn, a studio started by Hollywood Production Designer, James Lewis (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Band of Brothers, Love Actually, Exodus and many more).
After firing up Fun Town you’re greeted with catchy music and lovely bright and colourful graphics. The title screen scrolls along the street of Fun Town where the games are located. A single tap on a large play button takes you into the game.
Fun Town features 14 mini-games to play and instead of a menu system each is presented as a building along a street. You can only see one or two of these at a time and must swipe left and right to get around. Fun Town actually feels alive as there are people wandering about and different vehicles zoom by whilst honking their horns. As these are the only objects that move kids are likely to tap on them and will be delighted to see them change direction while saying something or making a noise.
The young kids that Fun Town is aimed at are unlikely to be able to read so each building is easily identified by its appearance. For example there’s a fruit shop with a giant fruit sign and baskets of fruit outside, a sweet shop plastered in giant sweets and a flower shop covered in flowers.
Tapping a building takes you inside to play its mini-game. There are no instructions on what to do but it’s always easy to work it out. Young kids may appear to struggle but this is where the learning comes in. When you do something wrong the game doesn’t penalise it just resets the object you moved until you get it right. At any time you can also leave a game and play a different one.
Using the flower shop as an example you can choose from three types of seeds. Moving a seed packet above a plant pot tips some seeds out and you need to make sure some land in the pot. Next you can grab the watering can to water them to make a plant start to grow. Finally you need to open the window to allow sunlight in which results in your finished smiling flower.
The games are all quite similar and all controlled with simple touch and swipe gestures. The sweet shop tells you what sweets to put in a bag. The burger restaurant shows you a picture of a burger and requires you to build one in the correct order. The bank has you sorting money out while the fruit and veg shops have you sorting them into boxes.
There’s also a bubble popping game, traffic light repair and the travel store has you matching coloured pieces into a world map. There are some more complex games too such as matching pairs of shoes hidden in boxes, a build a bike shop and a supermarket where you must scan items and then enter your pin number after swiping your card. Kids will learn through repeat plays of each game and most games change things a little each time which encourages thinking.
For completing a mini-game successfully you are awarded with a medal which takes over the screen while a fanfare appears. It gives a great sense of achievement and kids will want to replay the games over and over for this. When you complete all the mini-games you are awarded with a trophy.
Refreshingly apart from a small icon on the main screen advertising their other games there are no adverts or in-game microtransactions. This keeps things simple for the kids and lets them get on with playing and learning.
You can actually get through all the games in just a few minutes but that’s not the point. Young kids will take a lot longer and also want to replay them for hours. It’s clear a lot of thought and effort has gone into Fun Town and we’re confident that young kids will get a lot out of it. It’s a fantastic way to learn and we’d recommend Fun Town to any parent looking for a fun and educational app for their little ones.