Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Pepi Ride is a new car-driving app that is bright and colorful, allowing children to drive vehicles around different paths. Car-driving apps where children need to navigate a track are becoming commonplace, which I can understand as these apps remain quite popular with my son who holds no grudges and this driving genre is certainly not the most unique idea to hit iTunes. Having said this, Pepi Ride is an app that I appreciate as it has enough content to keep children’s attention for quite some time as well as to help them with their problem-solving skills as they navigate areas that become more and more complex .
To start, children will have a chance to choose one of four cars complete with driver - be it a boy or girl, as well as two fantasy animals that are then customized by children - complete with a variety of paint colors to choose from as well as the option to use a spray can, paint brush, or pencil point. There is also wheel selection as well as a chance to add sticker-like details and other ornaments, be it attachable horn choices or the like. I also enjoy how transparent the spray paint effect is, allowing one to layer different colors together for an airbrushed appearance. The selections offered here to personalize one’s car have enough options to make a variety of different looks, yet I appreciate how the effects one can choose for the car are limited in order not to overshadow the driving experience within this application.
When car decorating is complete, children are taken to a map area to select a course to drive. These tracks are unlocked gradually as children become proficient in driving and collecting the three blue gift boxes hidden throughout. I am fond of the layout of this menu page as one does not have a chance to come to sealed areas of this app, but the typical lock symbol over certain levels is a detail that I find frustrating and without benefit.
I do appreciate, however, the ease with which children are able to choose a favorite landscape to practice within Pepi Ride, which always a nice touch. Children will also approve of seeing their decorations on their vehicle while driving these tracks as they get the hang of the simple and intuitive controls that include forward and reverse buttons, as well as a button to allow the car to jump into the air - a detail that will become helpful in the more difficult levels. The driver associated with each car also adds a bit of whimsy as he is vocal yet language-neutral in expressing excitement about driving within these areas.
Having tested many apps like this, I am fond of the look of the various landscapes one drives through - from a castle theme to a gem mine. Other applications like this look as though a few objects are designed on a computer and almost randomly fit into the space for children to interact with, whereas the driving areas within Pepi Ride maintain their illustrated appeal as they contain lush backgrounds including rolling hills, thick forests of trees, and waterfalls that create a layered effect that really works for me.
With nine levels, there is a very nice amount of content included, and I am fond of how challenging the more difficult sections get as I - as an adult - had to work on finding ways to acquire the gift boxes in the last few levels. This app includes maze-like areas with one-way ramps and a liberal use of driving backwards and dropping down to different levels to get where one needs to go. With details such as lava to drive through or areas filled with bouncing balls to contend with, Pepi Ride has a lot to offer in terms of the use of physics, visual appeal, fun, and upbeat background music - an element I have come to expect from Pepi Play - making this app an easy one to recommend. Yet I could do without the ad on the opening page for other Pepi Play apps, as the Parents section is a more appropriate place for such advertising.