It is with a great deal of happiness that I can confirm the return of one of my favorite App publishing houses, Bandello. The group specializes in independently developed games for iOS, and has been a great source for refreshingly offbeat games. For a short time they had closed their virtual doors, but they have triumphantly returned to the publishing world with their latest game: Pearly.
The App was developed by Danish studio Tappaz, and is based in a cartoonish, colorful world. While billed as a game, it’s more part game part activity for young children. The player can choose one of many shapes shown in a scroll bar at the bottom of the App’s home screen displaying a fanciful landscape with pink trees and a fairytale castle. Once chosen, the shape is shifted to a new interactive land populated by three characters that act as both controls and entertainment. The activity consist of covering “pegs” inside the shape with various colored pearls that border the screen; each one chimes a different note or sound when pulled from their border. In one corner is a princess who will conjure up an image of the castle when touched, tapping the castle returns you to the home screen. A witch with a wand sits in the opposite corner; you can use her wand to interact with items in the background or remove the colored pearls from your chosen shape. A frog king sits between them, ready to snap up any pearls that are released outside of your chosen shape. Once all of the pegs are filled with pearls, the frog king offers you his iron to fuse them into a sharable creation. Your three dimensional image can be shared via email or saved in your iOS device’s photo library to be posted or shared as any other photo.
As stated early, the App is a very simple one and intended for young children. The developers designed it without any speech or text component, making it a little difficult for young ones to use unsupervised the first few times. Conversely it can be used by any child, regardless of language. The interactive nature of placing the pearls on the image make the activity somewhat of a modern day coloring book. Parents with young children needing a creative outlet or a constructive way of keeping their little ones entertained will truly appreciate Pearly.