A while back we were invited to the launch party of Pebli Town, a new interactive toy from Toys Alive. Unfortunately we couldn’t make the date but I’ve kept hearing about it ever since and was super pleased to finally get the chance to check it out for myself this past month while we’ve been reviewing it.
Pebli Town is a connected pre-school toy which uses fun traditional play pieces and a physical play board that interact with a tablet to bring the toy to life. Sounds interestng doesn’t it? And it is, the children have been playing with it every day because they think it’s so great.
So, what’s it all about?
Pebli Town comes with 4 exciting interactive game modes; Story Teller, Games, Story Creator and Video Room. The board uses hot spot technology, which means that any actions on the board are translated to the tablet and 99% of all game play is done on the board with the physical characters, so children don’t have to directly interact with the tablet. Up to 4 children (or adults) can play at once meaning lots of actual interaction with parents and friends, so unlike the games and apps we are used to on our tablet!
Pebli Town connects to a tablet using Bluetooth. You simply download the FREE Pebli Town App and your child will be able to create their very own magical world of play. It is designed for children aged 3+ and is compatible with Apple and Android tablets (see full compatible list below).
What do the children think?
I pretty much let the children get on with it and work it out for themselves, which they have done easily. we opened it together and as the box has lots of information including more on the characters as you open the tabs at each end, we got to see what it does and what we were going to play with first just from looking at the packaging.
I then downloaded the app for them, which did take an incredibly long time it has to be said, but once done the children were able to work the rest out on their own. They didn’t need any help at all and Florence, in charge, got to playing, watching and creating with Jimmy . I’m not wild about leaving Florence on the iPad with no supervision as she has, in the past, managed to watch a very dubious episode of an old ‘Rainbow’ which some fool had dubbed in an extremely rude way but the video mode for Pebli Town will only allow access to 200 pre-approved videos which all relate to Pebli Town.
I have even let them take it to bed with them so that they can watch as I tidy up and before we have a proper bed time story. I see no difference in this and listening to a story CD while I wouldn’t be keen to let them just take the iPad to bed for other games. Pebli Town is very gentle and about reading, learning and creating your own stories. It’s a world away from other games that the children like such as Minion Rush which are fast and frantic, full of noise and I would never, ever let them use just before bed.
It’s not all about the video mode though, there are four other modes of play:
Story mode – Educational stories that allow children to discover new and exciting adventures by choosing the path the characters take, there are 4 interactive stories with 22 alternative endings.
Game mode – Children can enjoy hours of engaging game play and test their problem solving and comprehension skills, 4 different games with 25 levels each.
Create mode – Children can choose their favourite characters, record their own voice, add special effects and direct stories. Then watch their creations back in the Pebli cinema. Unlimited opportunity to create stories.
Florence and Jimmy have been enjoying playing together, getting on very well as they do so which is always a bonus, as well as playing on their own with Pebli Town. The fact that even Jimmy can operate it on his own is fantastic as he often gets frustrated by apps and games that he can’t do.
All in all we think the Pebli Town starter pack, there will be extensions in the future, is pretty great. We have had some teething problems but for the most part we think it’s fantastic and brilliant value too.
The little problems for us, aside from the app downloading time, have been the fact that the activation button (which need to be held down) and turning it off (which requires the app to be shut down from the tablet first) are tricky for little ones to do on their own and Florence has found that she’s not been able to use the voice recorder on the create mode? It records but doesn’t play back which we are baffled by but sure there must be a simple explanation of something we are doing wrong. Still, despite this the starter set has been a massive hit with us and we look forward to seeing the extensions they shall be bringing out.
We think this is going to be a massive Christmas hit and at £49.99 it’s a pretty impressive present at a very reasonable price/
Pebli Town includes a Pebli board, a board cover, 4 figures and 4 locations and is compatible with iPad 3, iPad Mini 3 with Retina Display, iPad 4, iPad Air and iPad Air 2 iOS Devices as well as Android Devices Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro, Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (Model No. SMT530), Samsung Galaxy Tab S, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Google Nexus 7 (Model No. K008 & K009) Google Nexus 9, Sony Xperia Tablet Z2, Tesco Hudl 2 and the Lenovo Yoga 2 (Tablet is not included).
• Multiple level games encourages problem solving and develops fine motor skills
• Fun animation and rich video content helps widen vocabulary and spark imagination
• Recording and producing stories encourages creativity, imagination and self-expression.
• Interactive play and touch help build hand-eye coordination, focus
We were sent Peli Town for the purpose of an honest review.