Reviewed by Debbie Talbot
Pebli Town is an interactive physical toy for children aged 3 years + that is played with in the virtual world using a tablet computer with a Bluetooth connection. It has 4 play modes; story teller, games, story creator and videos and is for 1-4 players.
Once the Pebli Town arrived and my 3 year old twin boys saw it and wanted to play straightaway. On opening the box there is;
1x Pebli Town play board
4x Pebli Town characters (Fireman Freddie, Chef Charlie, Dr Daisy and Painter Poppy)
4x Pebli Town buildings (School, Town Square, Shop and Tree/Park)
1x Tablet holder
Set up is easy, just install 2x AA batteries (these are installed in a compartment underneath the play board that can only be accessed with a screw driver so inquisitive tiny little fingers cannot get to them). Then download the free app onto your tablet. The app download takes a while but there are a few games of Spot the Difference for the children to play while downloading (although my boys didn’t quite understand what they had to do).
Once the app was downloaded we were ready to play. Again this is simple to do; open the app and when prompted press the big blue button on the Pebli Town play board (make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your tablet), once connected press the blue button to start.
Once play has started you are introduced to the Pebli Town buildings and then the characters by placing them one at a time on the “magic circles” on the play board. By placing a character on the board plays an animation on your tablet screen and introduces that character.
Now the buildings and characters have been introduced you can start with the 4 different play modes;
Stories – this tells interactive stories based on the character that is placed on the board. There are four different stories with 22 endings.
Games – this enters the game mode where the children get to play games like helping Chef cooking and other characters having to go off and find ingredients. There are 4 different games with over 100 levels.
Create – here you can create your own videos by placing different characters on the board and recording your own voices. Once created you can play back and even share on Facebook.
Videos – here you can place a character on the board and watch videos about what that character does for a video. You will need an internet connection enabled on the tablet as this connects to YouTube (but only plays the pre-approved videos). So for example by placing Painter Poppy you get to watch arts and crafts videos.
Now after sitting with the boys and showing them what to do they are entranced by it and are happy to sit their playing away and have figured out how to interact with the screen and the characters. They know how to get into the app and connect to the board and can play by themselves and they both love it.
On initial setup we did have some problems such as the games function would constantly crash and at one point the app crashed out and started a new download of the app. But although this was annoying, especially with 2 3 years olds that didn’t understand what was happening, happily this seemed to fix the problem with the games crashing.
My only other negative, which probably doesn’t bother the children, is that the app takes a while to download but plays the same annoying whistling tune over and over again, a variety of different tunes may be an enhancement (if only for the adults).
Overall Pebli Town is a great interactive toy that incorporates toys with digital technology. Both boys love their toys and electronic gadgets so this is great for them. It also encourages listening skills, comprehension, interactive play and in the case with my twins learning to share and work together.
We haven’t gone through every story, game and video yet but both boys absolutely love it and play happily together and are actually listening to the instructions given to the by the animated characters on the screen and for the most part do follow what they are asked to do. Both boys are very chatty when playing it, which is great as one of my twins is undergoing speech therapy so this is a great help.
The especially like how when you place a character on the board to watch a video, it’s like they are sat in a cinema watching it.
I’m sure the boys would both give it 5 out of 5 but I personally would have to give it 4½ out of 5 because of the annoying constant whistling tune.
Works with Apple and Android devices but please check compatibility with your model and operating system before purchase.
RRP: £59.99 (tablet/phone not included)
Available to buy from Toys Alive here.