No, we’re not kidding. Automaker Toyota has a new brand, ToyToyota, and with it a new game perfect for keeping the kids entertained in the back seat called…Backseat Driver.
To be more precise, Backseat Driver is an app, the first product from ToyToyota, and its intended audience is the younger set – kids riding in the car with their parents on road trips. The idea is simple. Parents download the free app via iTunes link for the iPhone (3GS and 4), iPad, and iPod Touch (3rd and 4th generations). Note the game app requires iOS 4.1 or later
The game itself is cute and a bit different from other kids’ driving games. Backseat Driver uses the handset’s GPS and accelerometer so that the youngster playing the game can match his or her speed and direction with the real-world driver, most likely the parent.
Not to get too complicated about it – after all, it’s a kid’s game – the child, or the player, follows along behind “Papa car” and attempts to pick up points along the way…by driving over them. Have to wonder about the wisdom of teaching youngsters that there’s a reward for driving over anything along the road, but this concept is in line with other driving games.
The idea is that kids collect points by “catching” the Landmark icons (driving over them). The information is locked in place using the GPS. Of course, there’s also the opportunity to amass big points by collecting “rare” Landmark icons.
Kids (or their parents) can share their high scores with others via Twitter and compete with others using the game’s online ranking system. Routes are all saved.
Is this a novel idea for keeping the kids calm and engaged in the back seat while parents are driving? Or is it possibly setting the stage for children to want to start driving earlier than they are legally allowed to do? Maybe there’s even a third possibility. Maybe they’ll pick up on geography, spatial concepts, and even smart driving habits?
See how the game works in the YouTube video below.