For those of you who are hearing about the My Town series of apps for the first time as you read this review, the best way I can think of describing them is as ‘digital doll houses’ or ‘playsets’ — sort of like The Sims but aimed at a much younger audience (ages 4 to 8). Six have been released to date, each based upon places in the average town or city that kids might be familiar with or interested in, such as the Hospital and Police Station.
As its name suggests, the latest, My Town: Stores (out now, $2.99) is a shopping-themed playset. It comes complete with four different areas for kids to explore: a food truck, a clothes shop, a supermarket, and a candy store. Each location is absolutely jam-packed with interactive elements, items to discover and fun stuff to do. For example, I was delighted when I realized that you could make fruit smoothies at the food truck by dropping an apple in the blender, and I spent way more time than I’d like to admit dressing up characters in different outfits and silly hats at the clothes shop.
While I’m certainly not in the intended target demographic for My Town: Stores, I can appreciate how thoughtfully designed, well made, and attractive the app is — and I can see how kids, with their boundless imaginations, could sink hours and hours into tinkering around and experimenting with its various items and characters. (On a side note, I should give a shout out to just how gender neutral and ethnicity inclusive My Town: Stores is; kids from all walks of life will definitely feel right at home here.)
I don’t really have much negative to say about My Town: Stores aside from the fact that it does contain some annoying ads. There are no dodgy third-party banners or pop-ups or anything like that for parents to worry about, but links to download the rest of the My Town apps are permanently affixed to the top-left corner of the screen while playing.
The only limit to how much fun kids will have with My Town: Stores is their own imaginations. This thoughtfully designed and well made ‘digital doll house’ style app comes highly recommended.