AR Toys: Playground Sandbox

AR Toys: Playground Sandbox – Game Review (iOS)

If you remember, on January I’ve reviewed a game called RC Club AR Motorsports and I really liked it. Today I’ve download another remote-control (RC) car sandbox game called AR Toys: PlayGround Sandbox.

What is AR Toys: Playground Sandbox?

AR Toys: Playground Sandbox is an ARKit sandbox augmented reality game where you build a virtual track to play with RC cars and run away from police.

The game immediately reminded me of RC Club. Although these two games have a lot in common, they are quite different and offer different features.

Playing RC car augmented reality game in Seoul near a pagoda
Playing AR Toys in Seoul near a beautiful pagoda.

RC Club AR Motorsports is more stunt-oriented that allows you to build crazy-looking tracks and has some props like the “Turbo” one that allows you significantly increase the speed of the car and pull out some really impressive stuns. It also has a big buggy that looks really cool.

Just for a quick comparison. Here is me playing RC Club AR Motorsports in the living room. This type of stuns is nothing that I was able to replicate in AR Toys. I didn’t quite understand how to efficiently used the gravity option to create more interesting tracks.

RC car stunt on ramp in RC club game
Just for comparison, me playing RC club in the living room, look at that cool stunt!

Think I liked and disliked

One of my main criticism about RC Cars is that the game was very jittery and the controls felt awkward to use. These are two things that worked better for AR Toys. The game didn’t feel as jittery as RC Club. Furthermore, the developer offered two steering controls: sliding and buttons. He also dropped the reverse button which can just cause confusion. If you want to turn around, just turn the wheels and to make a sharp turn.

AR Toys: gives you the option to create your own track using different items (all free by the way). You can also move, rotate and lift them up. Unfortunately, there is no option to snap track parts to each other, which could have made it easier to create slicker-looking tracks and making alignment of items easier (for example, aligning two ramps one beside of the other).

Track builder screen
The track builder screen. More special items would be welcomed here.

A really important feature that AR Toys does have is an option to save and load a track. This is a great feature, although the game only allows you to save a single track, there are no saving slots or option to share tracks, something I want to see improved in a future update. Just imagine spending a long time building a track and the game crashes or not being able to save your hard work for later use? This feature solves those issues.

Police cars blocking my way
Police cars blocking my way.

One of the coolest features, in my opinion, is the GTA-style police chasing feature. Driving the car, bumping into obstacles and driving over ramps is fun, but it’s way more fun when police cars are chasing you. Although AR Toys: Playground Sandbox doesn’t offer the same cool stunt features as RC Cars, it somewhat makes out for it with this police chase feature.The thing is that you kind of exhausting that feature quite fast. Without really cool stunt-oriented car physics and interesting props, the fun doesn’t last long, that how it was for me.

Police car chasing my RC car in Seoul, augmented reality image
Making the police car go crazy is so much fun. It would be so cool if there was a policeman shouting from that car 🙂

The player can spawn two type of police cars, a standard one and one that carries explosives and explodes upon impact. Both police cars once spawned, will start chasing your car when you are in close proximity to where they are. I’m sure GTA fans will enjoy playing with this interesting feature.

All that said and done, I do miss the big vertical and loop tracks in RC Club AR Motorsports. At the end of the day, although I enjoy driving RC cars on plane surfaces, for me the most fun aspect of these type of games is making cool stunts. It’s really cool seeing your RC car flying in the air and do 720-degree turn aerial move in the air and landing back. The game also lacks achievements like in RC Club AR, there are no detailed stats for the cars and it lacks a brake control and car physics that allow you to make some really strong drifts like in RC Car.

Let’s check out some actual gameplay!

Conclusion

I did enjoy my time with AR Toys: Playground Sandbox today. The police-chasing feature is a cool feature but you get bored with it after some time. What’s left is the track builder tool which allows you to create cool tracks and check it out using one our of three cars that are available in the game.

Creating tracks is quite straightforward and the controls are easy. I personally prefer if the game had a gesture associated with a rotation of a block aside from tapping on the icon and swiping to rotate.

I also liked the ability to record and share the gameplay in Everyplay. I do think having a built-in social video sharing feature would be better, but still, it’s nice having this option nonetheless.

I think, same as RC Club, there is the place to add more interesting special items to the track builder, more cars and have a social feature built into the app itself to allow users to easily explore cool videos without going outside of the app.

AR Toys didn’t give me the same excitement as RC club AR Motorsports, but it definitely has its own place with its ease-of-use and the cool police chasing feature that is worth trying out.

You can download AR Toys: Playground Sandbox free for iOS from the App Store here.

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