Downloaded over 300 million times! The secret behind the success of the mobile game Toca Life World

@Georg Aug 28, 2023 24820 views mobile game toca life game android

When it comes to children's game applications, the Toca Life series developed by Toca Boca in Sweden can be said to be the best. This open virtual world game is loved by many parents and children around the world. Some fans weaved their own creation stories based on Toca Life and published them as books. There are also parents who make physical toys based on their children's works in the game. This demonstrates high fan engagement. Since the launch of the first Toca Life in 2012, the series of games has been downloaded more than 315 million times, making it a bright star in the children's game industry. Toca Life brings considerable revenue to parent company Toca Boca. In 2020, Toca Boca's revenue reached US$217 million, of which the Toca Life series of games contributed nearly half of the revenue.

So, what is the secret of Toca Life’s success as the flagship star product in the children’s game industry? This article will discuss Toca Life’s long-term occupation of children’s games by analyzing different elements such as Toca Life’s game mode, visual style, interactive design, and social functions. The key to the leading edge of the market.

How to play the Toca Life game

The Toca Life World game provides an open virtual world where players can create their own characters, build houses, cities, and perform various daily life simulations. The main gameplay of the game includes: Create your own character - Players can customize the character's hairstyle, skin, clothing, etc. to create a unique character. Build a house - Players can build their own house, adding furniture, decorations and more. Simulation of daily activities - In this virtual world, players can simulate daily activities such as going to school, working, shopping, exercising, etc. Engage in Social Interaction - Players can invite friends to play together and allow characters to interact socially. Explore an open world - The game world is open, and players are free to explore various places. Toca Life World's art style is bright and cartoonish, and the characters and game environments are very cute. This game is suitable for children aged 3-10, and can cultivate children's creativity and imagination. Generally speaking, this is an open virtual world sandbox game for children, where children can explore and create as much as they want.

Toca Life's unique open-ended game mode

Toca Life's greatest charm lies in its open-ended game mode. Compared with the linear mode of many children's games with fixed plots and task requirements, Toca Life has created a virtual world full of imagination, allowing players to play freely according to their own creativity.

In Toca Life, players can design their own characters, choose different hairstyles, clothing, accessories, expressions, etc., to create a unique virtual clone. After that, players can use this character to explore a rich game world, where there are houses that can be built, rooms that can be arranged, furniture that can be purchased, clothes that can be worn, vehicles that can be driven, and jobs that can be experienced. Players can build their dream houses, arrange ideal bedrooms, go shopping in supermarkets or shopping malls, eat in restaurants, work in offices, play in playgrounds...everything in the game world can be creatively conceived and matched To show the player's imagination.

There are no plot tasks or challenge goals in Toca Life. Players develop the game process completely according to their own ideas. This "unlimited creation" sandbox mode is very suitable for children's lively and active nature, allowing them to explore freely according to their preferences. The boundaries of imagination, combine game elements in every possible way, and get a sense of accomplishment from it. As Toca Boca said, they hope to stimulate children's creativity through this kind of open-ended play, so that they can "learn by playing".

Toca Life's cartoonish visual style

Complementing the openness of the game mode is Toca Life's cartoony and imaginative visual style. The characters, items and scenes in the game are designed with exaggerated and lovely round lines, and the colors are bright and bright. This kind of cartoon style is very attractive to children, and it also creates a carefree and happy world full of imagination.

For example, the characters have simple facial features, exaggerated body proportions, heads and eyes are usually several times larger than real people, and are equipped with cute expressions and movements. Clothes and hairstyles are very rich and full of fun. The design of all characters and items is very distinctive, entertaining and educational. The items and props in houses and shopping malls are also simple and exaggerated geometric shapes, but they are colorful and full of imagination. This mischievous visual style reflects the designer's consideration of the characteristics of children's mental development - using exaggerated, simplified and anthropomorphic techniques to stimulate children's imagination.

It is worth mentioning that Toca Life's development team has professional child psychologists involved to ensure that the game's visual style and game experience fully meet the cognitive characteristics and aesthetic preferences of target users. So from the perspective of children, Toca Life is like a scene in a painted storybook that jumps out and becomes a living world that can be explored freely, which is one of the reasons why it is so popular with children.

Humanized interactive design of Toca Life

Careful observation reveals that Toca Life has a deep understanding of children's needs and preferences in many design details, achieving a "user-centered" humanized design. These thoughtful design considerations also increase the fun and ease of use of the game.

For example, when creating characters, children can freely combine different hairstyles, skins, clothing, decorations and other elements. The designs of these elements are all imaginative, such as hair can choose rainbow colors, as well as elements in the shape of stars and ice cream. These designs will inspire children to have fun experimenting with different combinations. Another example is that the furniture purchase interface adopts the form of a simulated supermarket, which needs to "scan" the goods when purchasing to increase interactivity. House construction is very simple and intuitive, and can be expanded freely like stacking blocks. These designs have enriched the fun of the game, and are easy to operate, without complicated rules frustrating the game experience.

In terms of the interaction of game characters, Toca Life has also made a rational design. Game characters can simulate daily activities such as socializing, dining, and working. The interaction between the characters is logical and interesting, such as giving or exchanging gifts to friends, dancing and celebrating together, etc. The teacher will write class notes on the blackboard. These designs endow game characters with vivid personalities and rich interaction possibilities.

Toca Life's developed social functions

In addition to the open single-player game mode, Toca Life also provides a well-developed social interaction function. Players can invite friends to play together, create the world together, and share their own game works. In 2020, Toca Life launched an upgraded version of Toca Life World with social functions, adding an online multiplayer game mode. The characters of multiple players can interact, explore and create in the same game space, and experience a rich virtual life together.

This kind of sociality not only enhances the fun of the game, but also provides a rare opportunity for parents and children to play together. Parents can understand their interests and ideas through the game world created by their children, and they can also participate in games together to enhance mutual communication. Many beautiful cases of parent-child play also strongly prove this point.

Toca Life is continuously updated with constant content

As we all know, continuous release of new content is a necessary condition for the long-term popularity of any game. Toca Life does an excellent job here too. It regularly launches content updates with different themes every month to ensure that the game is always fresh and interesting, and players can constantly get new experiences.

In addition to regular updates, Toca Life will also seize the opportunity of festivals to launch themed discounts, such as Halloween, Christmas and other versions. It has also cooperated with well-known IPs and launched themed downloads such as "Star Wars" and "Monsters, Inc." These rich and diverse limited-time themes and activities have attracted a large number of new and old players to join. Stable content updates also bring stable commercial income, which in turn supports the development of more new content, forming a virtuous circle.

Marketing of Toca Life

Toca Life is a game that often carries out some very creative marketing activities to detonate the heat of communication.

In the summer of 2020, Toca Life World launched a joint cooperation version with the well-known IP Harry Potter. Players can experience the life of Hogwarts in the game, and carry out themed activities such as magic lessons. This cooperation has won the love of the majority of players. In 2021, Toca Life World will conduct a global collection of avatars for the first time. Players can submit their own original characters and have a chance to be officially included in the game. The event received more than 100,000 entries. In 2022, Toca Life World holds a global creative competition with the theme "Urban Life". The competition attracted more than 5,000 entries from 43 countries, demonstrating the unlimited creativity of players. In July 2022, Toca Life World launched a new "Space Station" theme. Players can build their own space station in the space environment and complete various space tasks, such as repairing the navigation system.

Toca Life's free and paid profit model

Toca Life World is basically a paid game, but there are some ways to experience it for free:

Limited Time Free Download Event

From time to time, Toca Life World will launch some limited-time Toca Life World Free Download activities for festivals or version updates. Players can seize these opportunities to download the free version.

demo version

There are trial versions of the game on the App Store and Google Play, and you can download and play for free to experience some basic functions.

Share free download code

The official will issue free download codes from time to time, players can pay attention to and share these free download codes.

Enter the free market in the game

There is a free market in the game where players can download free virtual goods, which is also a way to experience the game.

Holiday gift pack

In some major festivals, the official will also launch holiday limited-time gift packs, sending some free virtual goods.

Develop IP derivative products

Based on these IPs of Toca Life, Toca Boca has actively developed a series of derivative products, including the animation series of "Toca Life: After School", Toca Life themed toys, Toca Life phone ringtones and so on.

Secret of long-term success

From the above analysis, it can be seen that the key reason why Toca Life can continue to be in the forefront of the children's game market for many years is:

Its open and creative game mode stimulates the imagination and creativity of child players.

The visual style full of innocence and imagination is deeply loved by children.

The delicate and thoughtful interactive design increases the fun and ease of use of the game.

Well-developed social functions meet children's interactive needs and parents' desire to participate.

Continuously updated content strategy ensures fresh experience.

By truly understanding children's nature and needs, Toca Boca uses technical and artistic means to create a virtual world full of creative charm. By exploring and creating in this world, children can inspire unlimited imagination in joy, which is the core value that Toca Life is proud of. It is foreseeable that relying on these successful experiences, Toca Life will continue to be a bright pearl in the field of children's games.


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