Earthquakes, tsunamis, parts shortages, that’s enough to cause most campanies to shut down. Instead, Toyota is bringing on a new line, ToyToyota, and its first product is an iPhone App for Kids called Backseat Driver.
Backseat Driver differs from other driving games by engaging the handset’s GPS and accelerometer to match game play with the direction and speed of the real-world car that the player is sitting in. It works like this; using the phone’s GPS, the app lets kids drive a “Mama Car,” following the same route driven by their parents, while a “Papa Car” ahead poops little cartoon prizes that the kids pick up. Kids that collect enough prizes earn the right to customize their game car with sparkly paint, then share their successes on Twitter. Come to think of it, things kinda work like that for the parents too…But back to the game app, those goodies are matched to nearby landmarks in the real world — so, for example, if dad drives by a burger joint, the player may be able to roll over a hamburger and gain some points.
The game is intended for the fairly young, but through the built in social layer with twitter, players can share their high scores and they can compete with others via the game’s online ranking system. And of course, players can use those accumulated points to customize their rides. Is Toyota raising the next generation for “Pimp My Ride”? Just kidding.
Backseat Driver is free to download [iTunes link] for the iPhone (3GS and 4), iPod Touch (3rd and 4th generation models), and the iPad. If you haven’t upgraded your OS in a while, you’ll need to jump to at least iOS 4.1.