Toca Lab aims to introduce kids to some basic chemistry concepts and processes through experimentation on different elements. As you work your way through the periodic table, you can see how heat, cold, and other chemicals alter an element and cause it to behave in a particular way.
Fun animations: Each element that you can experiment on in this game is depicted as a little animated blob that you can drag around the lab and subject to various experiments. The animations are fun and engaging, making the subject material accessible to even very young children.
Introduction to the lab: This game introduces kids to the basic equipment found in most chemistry labs in a way that makes it much less intimidating. The equipment you can experiment with in the game includes a Bunsen burner, centrifuge, oscilloscope, cooling agent, and test tubes.
No Names: None of the elements you're experimenting on are labeled with their full name. There is a periodic table and clipboard with a one-letter abbreviation of the name, but it would be nice and much more educationally valuable if there was also a link available to the full name and some basic information about each element.
Element creation: The game seems to suggest that you can create new elements out of other elements. This is the way you fill in the periodic table in the game, and the app actually suggests which experiments to perform on any given element to change it into a neighboring one. This is not actually possible, which the letter in the parents' section freely admits. This may confuse children when they start learning about these topics outside of the app.
Toca Lab is a fun idea, and it's presented in a very accessible and engaging way to its target audience. However, the lack of more detailed information and the misrepresentation of how the elements can and cannot be created really takes away just about any educational value it may have had.
Toca Lab is now a series of playful science apps. That's why we're renaming this app to Toca Lab: Elements! Another lab in the series is coming soon. We also added symbols to the most recent elements and did some general polishing. Enjoy!