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CBeebies Playtime Island review (iOS/Android/Amazon Fire)

Play along with a host of CBeebies characters in CBeebies Playtime Island, a colourful collection of mini-games that will suit children from the ages of two and up.

The Beeb has produced some solid spin-off apps from its kids TV shows, designed to keep tiny fans entertained and maybe teach them a few bits along the way. The latest effort is Cbeebies Playtime Island, which is set to act as a hub to all of the BBC’s future CBeebies games (while the Storytime app remains the hub for CBeebies interactive tales). And if this early release is anything to go by, kids are in for a treat.

Read next: Best apps and games for kids

As you’d expect from a Beeb title, CBeebies Playtime Island is beautifully presented. Your little one starts off by selecting a Bug Buggy to roam around in, with the likes of a crocodile skateboard and a shark balloon up for grabs. With that done, it’s time to set sail for Playtime Island.

The island itself has four stops right now, each featuring a different CBeebies show. There’s a fast-paced runner game with Peter Rabbit, some fun at the farm with Topsy and Tim, cuisine catastrophes at the Furchester Hotel and a Tamagotchi-style beastie to look after in Andy’s Prehistoric Park.

You move around the island with a bit of tapping, and select one of the mini-games in the same way. Each one offers a different level of challenge, to suit a range of ages.

For instance, Topsy and Tim is a very simple series of tasks, where kids have to feed ducks by tapping on them or reunite lost animals with their mummies. The drag-and-drop controls can be a little bit of a battle, but younger kids seem to love it all the same.

Furchester Hotel is another collection of games, which involve slicing fruit into a bowl, dropping cakes onto a plate and loads more besides. Each mini-game is thankfully very forgiving (there’s no ‘game over’ here), and you’re rewarded with little stickers every time you beat a task.

Peter Rabbit’s Hop To It is the most advanced and demanding game here, although it’s still very forgiving to avoid mini tantrums and broken phones. Peter and his friends automatically run sideways, and you make them jump with a quick tap to collect all of the fruit and presents scattered through the land. There are plenty of obstacles to avoid too, with Peter dropping food each time he plows through one.

However, even though you’re being chased by a wicked character such as Mr McGregor’s cat through long sections, it seems to be completely impossible for them to actually catch Peter and his mates and boil them up for stew.

Lastly there’s Andy’s Prehistoric Park, which sees you taking care of a sabre tooth tiger, a woolly mammoth, a baby triceratops or a mini t-rex. You can give them food, water and fun play things like rocks (ooh, rocks) and in return they give you love, in the shape of a heart meter. Cute.

Although there are only four mini-games on offer right now, there’s plenty of room for expansion. The Playtime Island road ends with a pesky beaver who’s collapsed a tree, but hopefully this will be cleared away soon to reveal even more fun little diversions for your wee ‘un.

You can download CBeebies Playtime Island for iPhone, iPad, Android and Amazon Fire devices.

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