You may remember a while back, we reviewed some iPieces - counters that you can use with the iPad and specially created apps so that several players can play together, using it more like a board game than a solo activity. When we were asked if we'd like to try out some more iPieces, this time for Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam apps, I didn't even have to ask the Madhouse Mini-testers what they thought. I instantly knew they'd love them !
Each box contains four iPieces, each one representing a different colour and character from the TV programmes. The iPad magically recognises which iPiece you are using, which is rather clever.
The base of each iPiece has four protective pads that avoiding any scratching - something I was a bit worried about, I must admit.
You need to go to iTunes to download the free apps that accompany the iPieces. This literally only took a couple of minutes to install and we were ready to go.
The iPad asks you to tap one of the iPieces inside a circle so that the app detects them. This took a few attempts but I think the Madhouse Mini-testers may have been holding them slightly at an angle. Then, just as with a normal board game, each player selects their counter and places it on the playing board, or in this case the iPad screen.
The iPieces allow up to four players to go head-to-head and track their way across the board, helping young children who can't count (and avoiding any cheating !) by showing where you need to place the counter after rolling the virtual dice. Every now and again, a little mini game pops up to keep things exciting. (There are five mini games in each app.)
If you have more than one child and iPad-time often ends up with squabbling over whose turn it is, the iPieces are a great peacemaker, with each player patiently awaiting their turn to roll the dice. Bliss !
I still think they're expensive for what they are, but they are a great way of transforming the iPad into a multi-player game and combining it with the fun of playing traditional board games.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £12.99
Disclosure : We received two sets of iPieces in order to write an honest review.
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