Australian Council on Children and the Media

Toca Dance - Toca Boca AB

app image

Short takes

A dance game where players can dress dancers, choreograph their routine and watch them perform. Caution: In-app purchases and encouragement of violent/aggressive behaviour.

Age
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Toca Dance was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 March 2017.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Toca Dance
Developed by: Toca Boca AB
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free, Paid
Developer’s suggested age: 4+ years, target of 6-8years
ACCM suggested age: Not recommended for children under the age of 16 years due to encouragement of violent/aggressive behaviour.
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Toca Dance contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

Both the free and paid versions were played including playing all ten characters in the paid version with different costumes and music combinations trialed.

App description

This open-ended dance app offers players the creative licence to dress dancers and choreograph a dance routine by manipulating a dance instructor through swipes and taps. The dancers then perform their routine and the player can control the lighting effects and audience response, including booing, cheering and throwing items at the characters.

Reviewers comments

Play begins with the selection of up to three dancers. Hip-hop/Techno music played on a loop is audible throughout the game. The characters first enter a locker room where different costumes are available to dress them. Play continues with the characters in a dance class, where fine motor control is required to manipulate a dance instructor. Tapping on coloured dots (corresponding to different poses) and then swiping or tapping the instructor in different directions allows a routine to be choreographed. The characters follow the routine until the player taps the arrow to proceed to the performance. Play concludes with the dance performance where lighting effects and audience responses can be selected.

The opening scene in this game is a typical Hip Hop environment, complete with garbage and small fires, suggesting the location is “cool” with audible Hip Hop music and laughter,

The characters then enter a locker room where different sets of outlandish costumes (including poo, neon, eyeball and skull costumes) are available, although there are only three sets of costumes in the free version.

The player can drag and drop the outfits onto the characters which appears to cause them some discomfort. The choreographing of the dance routine is the most engaging aspect of the game, although younger children may find manipulating the limbs of the teacher in a purposeful and intentional way, difficult to master.

The characters then proceed to the stage performance where the player can control lighting (paid version only), character appearance and audience response. The ability of the player to manipulate the head and body size of the characters by blowing them up or deflating them may be disturbing for younger players. Likewise, whilst the use of off-color humour (such as audible flatulence) may appeal to younger children, the themes such as encouraging the player to throw items including shoes (a deeply offensive act in some cultures), eggs, toilet paper and money at the performers are all problematic features of this game, making it unsuitable for young children.

These aggressive acts are completely out of context and communicate tolerance of gratuitous violence for enjoyment. Parental co-play is also recommended for older children to address some of the themes.

In App purchasing

The paid version is advertised on the home screen and is billed as offering:

  • glowing outfits,  (including neon, poo and skeleton outfits),
  •  8 songs (instead of 1 available in the free version) 
  • 10 characters (instead of 3).
  • It also includes added features such as light control and other pyrotechnic effects to utilise during the dance performance.

This is accessed by entering your year of birth and a 15 year old is able to proceed to purchase.  This is easily achieved through trial and error.

Online information

  • Connectivity to the Internet is required to access the paid version.
  • The video of the dance routine can be saved to your device camera roll.

Gambling

At time of review, the reviewer found no simulated gambling content.  If you discover simulated gambling content in this app, please contact us with the details so we can update our review.

Advertising and product placement

  • The paid version is advertised on the free version and other Toca apps such as Toca Hair salon are advertised on the home pages of both versions.

Gender stereo types and sexual references

  • Nothing of any concern with both male and female characters available for selection.

 

Coarse language

  • Nothing detected but the lyrics on the music are difficult to discern.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

  • There are numerous developmental red flags associated with this app, the most concerning being that the game encourages gratuitous aggressive behaviour by offering the player food, toilet paper and other items to throw at the performers whilst they are dancing on stage.
  • Tasteless “potty” humour is used throughout; including the ability to dress a player in a “poo suit” and making fart sounds whilst the characters perform.
  • The imagery of a character in a skeleton/eyeball suit may prove scary for younger players.

Get involved

Provide your own review of this app here.

Have you found something of interest in this app that we haven't? Share your thoughts here.

Couldn't find the app you were looking for? Suggest an app to review, or provide your own public app review.

App Reviews

Search by:

Alphabetical:

Age suitability:

Platform:

Apple App Store img Google Play img Facebook img

Date added:

Selecting an age will provide a list of apps with content suitable for this age group. Children may also enjoy apps selected via a lower age.

About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.