Tonka Construction 2
Tonka Construction 2 is a single player construction game for children.
The game takes the player to Tonkaland where Tonka Joe is there to greet them. There are four activity areas in this game Tonka Mountain, Tonka City, Tonka Desert and Tonka Quarry.
All areas play in much the same way. Each starts with an introduction from the character associated with that area who gives a little chat and explains the six stages of the work required. Then the player clicks on the mobile phone to order up the vehicles they need in turn. When the activities are complete the player clicks on the 'Celebration button' and along comes the mayor to declare the construction open and the player gets an award in the game's scrapbook
In the quarry for example the player has two tasks, to find buried treasure within the quarry walls and to make gravel. The treasure is found by selecting the bulldozer and repeatedly driving it into the quarry walls until a rock fall reveals something, or they could use dynamite which is easier but not really a Tonka toy. When all three pieces have been found the player must assemble them at which point the treasure is loaded onto a lorry and taken to a museum.
Gravel is made by using a loader to pick up rocks and place them into a rock crusher.
Tonka City is the same but has a bit of a twist. The player constructs a building by first selecting a digger and then clicking on a piece of ground until all segments are excavated. They then call up the cement trick and in one click the cement is laid. After that they place steel frames onto the lot to make the building frame to which they add walls, a roof, and 'green stuff'. This element has a feature that allows players to export their creations and to import other peoples creations. However there is only one construction lot in the game so importing a building means replacing the one the player created.
Tonka Mountain has two activities, first the player builds a ski resort by placing some buildings in the snow, then they plough and decorate three ski runs. The final area of the game is Tonka Desert. This has the most activity as the player must build a road by first clearing a stretch of ground with a bulldozer, then use a grader to smooth the road, an asphalt truck to lay the tarmac, a roller to flatten it and finally a line painter to put in the lane markings.
The game also has a 'scrapbook' which contains the awards the player picks up when completing the tasks and some pictures that can be printed
Credits (Windows version)
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Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 3 ratings with 1 reviews)
What did I like about the game? Well to be honest not a great deal.
It's good insofar as everything works, it installed OK, and everything in the game played as it should but that's about it. I did have a couple of occasions when the game hung on me but that could just compatibility between my system and an old game. The artwork is OK, the trees look like trees and the buildings look reasonable too but they lack a certain flair, it's as though they were drawn for older kids and placed in a game aimed at younger kids.
The only thing that I found amusing, and which would probably pass the target audience by, were the antics of the little workmen as they beetled around the building site.
My main problem with this product is the game play itself. The packaging promises 'Take charge of 12 vehicles' and 'Superior vehicle control' and it just does not deliver on these promises.
The control system is poor. It is totally mouse controlled which means the player clicks on screen in front of the vehicle and sort of drags / leads it where they want to go. This isn't too bad when you're going in a straight line but when you want to back up you have to move the cursor behind the vehicle and, because the vehicle follows the mouse, in doing this you alter its direction. It's also not as satisfying as actually steering left / right
Apart from using a mouse click to pick up or drop rocks in the quarry dragging the vehicle around like a dog on a lead is all the control you get. This means that the fun of building a road in the desert is, in reality, reduced to dragging a truck shaped paintbrush across three screens while the ground beneath the truck/brush changes.
The only real opportunities for creativity is in building in decorating the scene which the player can do in Tonka Desert, Tonka City or in the Snow Village. Here the game uses the concept of a trucks delivering different classes of building, foliage, etc. A fine idea but there are problems in the way it has been implemented. The concept works best which works well in Tonka City where the player is dealing with adding items to a single building, however the problem here is that those great big trucks contain just small bricks which magically expand to size when placed on the building. As a result design is all try-it-and-see because what the truck delivers gives little indication as to what the stuff will look like when used.
However in the other locations, the Desert and Snow Village, where the player can add buildings, trees, signage and other stuff to adorn what they have built there are difficulties. The problem is that the truck parks itself on one screen and, to decorate their creation completely the player must drag each item across the three screens individually. This quickly becomes boring.
While I was not thrilled with the design and the content of the game I was not overly enamoured with the audio either. Joe Tonka comes on screen at the start and he has a big, booming, voice as befits his character. At the start of the main game areas however the character's voices are of different volumes and one in particular, Tonka City, was almost inaudible.
Tonka is a great toy. It's big, it's fun and my kids played with them for hours.
This game is just the opposite, the trucks are small, difficult to use, and there's minimal creativity or game interaction. I played it and completed everything in between 60 - 90 minutes. Now I'm not a child and I can use a mouse quite well but from what I remember of my kids when they were five to eight they could use a mouse even better than I could and they got bored a great deal faster.
I don't know what age range this product is aimed at but, in my opinion, kids that can handle a mouse well enough to play this game will probably be doing more interesting things in other games while kids that cannot handle the mouse very well will probably get frustrated and bored very quickly.
The Bottom Line
While some bits are competently done there's not really much to do here and the game doesn't offer much in the way or reward or creative opportunities.
By all means give it a try but expect the kids to be saying 'Is that it?' within ten minutes.
Windows · by piltdown_man (232253) · 2015
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by piltdown_man.
Additional contributors: Rainer S.
Game added February 6, 2015. Last modified February 22, 2023.