Okay, so we figured you've already guessed the gist of Let's create! Pottery HD (opens in new tab); it's something to do with throwing clay on a virtual potter's wheel, right? But it doesn't stop there: you then fire it in a kiln to earn coins to spend on new materials, colours, ornaments and brushes so you can make yet more elaborate pots. To some that might sound a little dull, but that's where the questing part of the game comes into play.
It all starts with an email from 'Aunt Chloe', asking you to make a particular type of pot for her, with a photo attached so you know what to sculpt. You have to mold your pot into the closest approximation of the photo you've been given as you can, and then decorate it appropriately. This is actually quite fun, and once you're happy that you've done a decent enough job you can send your pot off in the mail and, if she's pleased with it, you earn more coins to progress further in the game.
Word of mouth
Soon word of your skills gets around and Aunt Chloe's pals all start emailing you their requests for pottery. The quest element is a clever way of teaching you to develop as a pot thrower because each successive challenge pushes your skills, and the game's features, that little bit further.
The process of moulding your pot is actually relaxing in itself, and a real sense of satisfaction can be gained as your pot begins to take shape. You delicately coax your lump of clay into different shapes with slow but firm swipes of your finger, and if things go (ahem) pear-shaped you can always start again.
Take it easy
Templated painted designs are added with a tap of your finger rather than being hand-drawn, so your designs won't look like van Gogh sneezed into his palette. There's nobody pushing you on a deadline for your pot and because you can choose to either follow a quest or just make your own pots to sell, you're free to play the game as you wish.
Inner peace is aided by the natural sounds and a soothingly countryside backdrop that bobs about pleasantly as your iPad moves, making good use of its accelerometer and gyroscope to add a level of realism. It's also the sort of app that children will love to join in with too, especially the decorating aspects.
There's a thriving online community based around the game, and it's easy to share your pots with them, should you so wish. At potterygame.com you can see what the experts have produced with the app. The login system is based on the Facebook Connect feature and other users can rate your work, so you'll appear in the global rankings.
You can also step out of the virtual world altogether with the 3D printing capabilities that the app offers. Select one of your pots, tap on the print button and your pot is uploaded to the Sculpteo website, where you can order a real physical version.
The 3D printed vases are small, ranging in size from 4, 8 or 12cm high, and the 3D printing and delivery process has a specific formula to determine the price depending on size and colours used (we found the 'small' 4cm pots to be around €5, 8cm pots to range from €15- €20 and 'large' 12cm pots to cost approximately €50), but ultimately you'll be holding the actual pot you designed on your iPad in your hand, and they make great gifts.
While it's a very different sort of game to a puzzler like Zen Bound, Let's create! Pottery HD reminds us of its tranquil, cerebral feel. It really is a wonderfully pleasant way to de-stress with your iPad after a tough day at work. If you've ever fancied releasing your inner potter without getting your hands dirty, then this really is the chance you've been waiting for.
You'll find this review, and many more, in Tap! Magazine issue 29.
- Works with: iPhone, iPad, iPod
- Price: $4.99/£2.99
- Universal: Yes
- Version: 1.40
- App size: 61.1MB
- Developer: Infinte Dreams
- Age rating: 4+