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CBeebies Playtime Island app launches

MUMBAI: BBC has launched CBeebies Playtime Island, a new free app for pre-schoolers and their parents to discover and play their favourite CBeebies games.

Available now on Android, iOS and Amazon Fire devices, the app was co-designed by CBeebies audiences and the BBC Children’s app team in Salford.

At launch, children can choose their CBeebies bug-buggy to explore the island and jump on the ferry to start playing games with all their favourite CBeebies friends. Greeting them will be Peter Rabbit: Hop to it, The Furchester Food Game, Topsy and Tim: At The Farm, and Andy’s Prehistoric Park.

Many new games, features and surprises lie in wait for users too – first up, a festive feel to the island in December and, soon after, children will be able to build their very own Playtime Island by adding the games that they want, parachuting them down from the cloud to dry land. A game library and downloads will also be coming soon.

The BBC worked closely with CBeebies audiences throughout development, encouraging them to unleash their creativity to help design the app. They were asked to imagine where their favourite characters might live on the island and how the CBeebies bugs could travel around. Their ideas and sketches were turned into the items you find in the game, like Andy’s treehouse, a fruit helicopter and a skateboarding crocodile to whizz around the island.

The new app builds on the CBeebies Playtime and Storytime apps, which have been downloaded over nine million times collectively, and will be the main place for new CBeebies mobile games. The original CBeebies Playtime app will still be available for those that play it and love it, but all new games will be released onto CBeebies Playtime Island and to the CBeebies website.

CBeebies controller Kay Benbow said, “CBeebies Playtime Island is an exciting environment for our games that can evolve based on the interests and needs of our youngest audiences – it can develop and grow with them. It also gives them a greater range of choice and control all within one safe and beautifully designed landscape. And it’s not only designed for littles ones but with them too, as the wonderfully creative buildings and vehicles came directly from them.”

Head of Childrens Products Lucie McLean said, “We’ve loved co-designing CBeebies Playtime Island with the little ones. We’re going to continue developing the app in that spirit and we have a few exciting surprises in store for them too. It’s an approach to designing our apps that has worked well before, and coincides with a new approach to technology as well. CBeebies Playtime Island was built using a new platform we call Pick n Mix, which lets us adapt our existing online games more easily and efficiently for mobile. It means we can bring more of the games our audiences love to the devices they love playing them on.”