PLAYING WITH PEPI HOSPITAL
When looking for new apps for my kids to play I always try to keep a good balance between educational content and having fun. I was delighted to be asked to take a look at Pepi Hospital made by the guys at Pepi Play to review
Pepi Hospital is an app for both iOS and Android featuring a huge interactive hospital with a myriad of imaginative play to be had – all whilst improving your child’s emotional development, language skills as well as providing opportunities to identify with the adult world.
Who’s It For?
Pepi Hospital is designed for ages 4 and up. It’s a paid app with no in-app purchases and no third-party ads. You don’t need an internet connection to play so great for taking on the move. I feel it’s a great choice for anyone with children curious about the world or has an interest in playing ‘doctors’.
How Do You Play It
The hospital has so many areas to explore, including but not limited to a dentist, pharmacy, a blood lab, a newborn nursery and a surgery room. All areas are fully interactive, almost every single bit of equipment can be moved and used by any of the doctors, nurses or patients in the game.
The game works with a very simple drag and drop interface that any child familiar with using a tablet will be able to follow.
Gameplay itself is extremely versatile and encourages much fun imaginative play. The possibilities of variations on gameplay and due to almost everything in the hospital being interactive you can end up with some very funny scenarios!
You have your very own interactive robot ‘Pepi Bot’ to follow you around the building. Pepi Bot helps provide immediate help to you the player by any means you choose. From blasting out music to you and the people in the hospital, a range of medical devices to treat patients and providing a portable wardrobe for anyone you wish to dress up.
The Medical Rooms
As mentioned before there are so many rooms to explore in Pepi Hospital. All can be reached by dragging and dropping the characters into the left and taking them up or down to the floor that you would like to access. Our favourite room to play in was the plaster cast room. Brooke particularly enjoyed putting patients in full body casts, whether they needed it or not sometimes!
New Patients arrive regularly at the ambulance stop in the hospital. Patients have little red dot on them to indicate where something is wrong with them. When you hold your finger on the patient and begin to move them a little speech bubble pops up with clues as to how you might help the patient.
At any point during the game you can click on the menu to get a pop up and introduce any character such as doctors, nurses and patients into your hospital. A great way to set up a scene of your child’s choosing for play.
As a parent my worry of an app with so many items that can be moved around the hospital is that items will get lost in the virtual hospital. Thankfully some ingenious designer put in a ‘tidy’ button inbuilt into the hospital. At any point you can jump into the home screen and hit the tidy button. This will automatically tidy up the hospital and return all items back to the original starting position. No whingeing from Brooke or what feels like hours of searching for me looking for the kettlebell that she somehow managed to lose in the hospital early on.
What Did We Think
This was my first experience of a Pepi Play game. I decided to read the grown up’s guide on the app and have a little play myself before I sat down with my 4 year old to play. I’m pleased I took the time to read the guide as it wasn’t what I was expecting at all (in a good way!). I’m used to educational apps having a fairly rigid format and a specific task to accomplish. Pepi Hospital is a very casual simulation game with learning opportunities built-in which I found really kept Brooke interested in the game and asking questions.
As with any educational app I’d recommend taking the time to play the game through with your child first. This really helps encourage the learning aspect of the app. I was able to discuss all the many bits of equipment in the hospital that Brooke hadn’t heard of before, this was great for developing language skills as well as improving her knowledge of the world.
Brooke’s favourite activity in Pepi Hospital was to figure out what was wrong with the patients and find a way of treating them. Brooke really enjoyed the feeling of success when she correctly identified how to treat a patient and make them all better again. I loved that the app was improving her empathy and caring skills on an emotional level.
After our first session of play together Brooke asked if she could have some ‘free play’. For us this means time on an app without an adult supervising. Brooke came up with some hilarious scenarios which she came and shared with me. Such as all the alien characters taking over the hospital and removing clothes from everyone. Brooke was also impressed that the cash machine churned out a huge amount of money. The money was promptly spread amongst the patients in the hospital!
An imaginative and fun app that has the benefit of teaching your child more about hospitals whilst developing their emotional and language skills. I was impressed with the free flow game play and will be looking at more apps that follow a similar format. The less rigidity in learning the better!
Perhaps the best thing about this app happened after playing it. After playing Brooke went off to play doctors with her toys and was using lots of the new words and experiences she had discovered in the pepi hospital app.
Where Can I Purchase The App?
Pepi Play have made a fantastic fun app with the opportunity to learn built-in. Due to the open style of play it really didn’t feel like learning at all. Check out the trailer below and download your own copy for your budding Doctors and Nurses on iOS and Android stores!