Phoebe has a love of all things small, cute and collectable, and the Shopkins reached us in the last 2 years. She even had a Shopkins cake for the last two birthdays! Thankfully we don’t have too many of them, but she finds all the merchandise irresistible. Phoebe isn’t as tech loving as William is, but she still loves to have a go. We got to be one of the first to try out the new Shopkins Happy Places iOS app by Moose Enterprises and Kuato Studios who are proud to announce the arrival of the first official game for the massively successful Shopkins Happy Places brand. The app is now available to download from the app store worldwide, and features the Shopkins character Jessicake in her own Happy Places house and town called Happyville, which is empty to start with for you to decorate. You also get to invite the other Shopkins friends Poppette, Coco Cookie and Bubbleisha to visit your Happy Home You get boxes to open full of Petkins, which are rare or common. It’s quite exciting watching them open the box and see the characters they recognise from their toys, and be able to apply them on the screen.
Here’s the trailer so you can get an idea of what it’s like:
As you can see, it’s going to be very popular with girly girls, and of course, Shopkins fans, whatever their gender. Shopkins Happy Places promises fans a fun learning experience based around storytelling and narrative play. Kuato’s patent pending TalesMaker engine allows fans to create visual diaries from their Lil’ Shoppies’ adventures throughout the day, and then share these with family and friends. They will need permission to post to social media or their own social media accounts to do so. The app encourages the use of hashtags, and for children to engage in creative, habitat-building and collection play whilst developing early storytelling skills.
What age range is the app for?
The age range states 4+ in the app store, but I would say 5+, depending on how much experience they have using an iPad. It’s aimed at UK key stage 1/US Pre-Kindergarten/Grade 2.
How much is the Shopkins Happy Places app?
It’s free to download, but there are in App purchases available. You still get a good amount of game play without paying for the upgrades, which are £1.99 each. We tried a couple to see what they were like, they did enhance the game for her and she was really pleased with what she got. She played with her friends together and they were able to interact and laugh together, so it wasn’t like she was stuck to the screen. She also liked showing off her designs to me.
How to play the Shopkins Happy Places App
Once your child starts playing there are prompts to help you, it’s very intuitive. Shopkins Happy Places begins on moving day, as Lil’ Shoppie Jessicake arrives in HappyVille. After her Happy Home is set up, children can explore decorating the with the many cute Petkins available. As they decorate and create, each Lil’ Shoppie will play with the Petkins and prompt the child with decoration ideas based on the Lil’ Shoppies individual personalities. The child can also take part in #HouseGoal challenges which encourage more complex patterns based around simple story settings, such as birthday parties, or cooking contests. As they play, the unique TalesMaker technology records key moments from the play session and then presents these to the child as a record of their day. This part was so good, Phoebe loved seeing her ‘highlights.’ Young storyteller’s can explore sequencing images and applying text to create simple narrative structures, before saving their story creations to share with family and friends.
Children can earn more Petkins, Happy Places and Lil’ Shoppies through play, allowing them to build out a whole HappyVille. The game also offers in-app purchases, accessible only via a PIN-code. We tried a few out, and it just brought an extra dimension and personalisation to the game.
The surprise box is always popular.
Have you got a Shopkins fan? Let me know if you decide to give the app a try and tell me what you think.
Disclosure: we were given credit to spend on in app purchases and for our time creating this post. All opinions are my own and all information correct at time of press. Thanks to Chloe for the use of her iPad.