CAN an iPhone app help you survive the first few frantic months of parenthood? Parent Bingo is a game designed to add a touch of humour to those moments where nappies, nerves and overdrafts are at breaking point.
It’s the first app to emerge out of Newcastle-based Bookmarked Games, which was set up by Oliver Roberts and Jeremiah Alexander last year to develop games that “bring families together”.
Co-founder Alexander said: “It’s basically been designed as a bit of fun. You’re given a bingo card with spaces for 16 events that can happen to parents in the early stages, and you check them off when they happen to you.
“We’ve got a pool of events, such as forgetting your baby in the car, finding baby poo under your fingernails or getting into an argument with another parent over parenting techniques.”
You get bonus points for completing lines, and win the game if you complete the entire card, and you can share all this with friends and family via Facebook and Twitter.
“As any parent will tell you, it’s not just about what happens, it’s your mood at the time. Keeping your sense of humour can make all the difference.”
The app is currently available at the introductory price of 69p, and Bookmarked Games is considering developing updates for the later stages in a child’s development, such as becoming a toddler and starting school.
Games designer Alexander teamed up with public policy strategist Roberts last year, and the company received a grant from an investment fund run by the University of Abertay Dundee to develop their ideas.
Parent Bingo is a side project of a larger enterprise by the company, which is to create a storytelling game for the four to seven age group.
Bookmarked is currently looking for a partner to develop the prototype further. Alexander said: “We’ve developed a really compelling prototype and we’re looking for the right people to take it to the next stage.
“The core emphasis is around how creativity can be developed through storytelling, and how you can allow really young children to create their own stories.
“At the moment, stories are dictated to children, and while there are benefits to reading to them, we’re looking at how the children can customise them and make them their own.”