There are many things to love about Brighton – but its unique game studios has got to be one of them. West Pier Studio, based on Brighton seafront is just one of these studios. Founded back in 2011 by three ex-Disney gaming employees, Craig Gabell, Vassos Shirarlis and Dominic Jackson, the team came together to form a simple plan, bringing together years of experience to create top-of-the-range mobile software. Previously working with huge companies such as Sony, Eidos, THQ, and Activision, West Pier Studio are best known for their mobile apps, exciting social games and one of their largest projects uTalk. Commissioned by one of the largest leading language software companies, EuroTalk, West Pier wanted an app that would apply their gaming expertise to create a cross-platform idea – to combine gaming and learning. Co-founder and general manager Craig Gabell says, “Working with uTalk is a very important part of West Pier Studio’s growth path. In a market saturated with games, we wanted to focus on playful products that offer innovative education to the user.”Working with uTalk, Gabell’s idea also aims to provide reallife rewards within the game. He continues, “At the core of the design is a fun and addictive achievements point system – which is way better than gaining mere game points. Our idea of ’Earn as you Learn’ means the more the player learns and the more they achieve, the more real money rewards they earn.”
Eurotalk, creators of uTalk, was founded 25 years ago, and has won Queen’s Awards for both export and innovation. It was founded by Sussex-based chairman Richard Howeson who truly appreciates the energy and creativity at West Pier Studio and their friendly approach. He says, “This is a major step forward for our customers. We’re pushing technology all the time to ensure anyone learning with us will be successful and have fun learning languages.” Speaking as someone who never made it past the Rosetta Stone’s Level 3 Italian programme, this is such an exciting app from West Pier Studio that has really made an impact on those looking to take their language skills up a notch. So, I decided to download uTalk and practice my Italian skills!
At first look, I was amazed by the variety of languages available to users – even going so far as Azerbaijani and Zulu! Tempted though I was to test out my best Arabic accent I decided to stick with Italian. The great thing about this app is that it’s completely free to download, easy to use, and so fun – which makes learning a language so much less stressful. By recording yourself repeating phrases you can persevere until you are absolutely satisfied with your performance. Then you can progress to the games, beginning at an easy level to increase your confidence and win you points – which can unlock the next level of the language. As a gamer, I particularly enjoyed this format, which offers something different from most language learning apps on the market – which are all too often saturated with in-app purchases. For all those thinking of travelling soon, this would be a welcome addition to the pocket phrase book!
Ciao! uTalk is available on all platforms from PC and mobile to Mac across more than an incredible 130 languages. Customers will be able to choose exactly what they want to learn from any language.