Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Birthday - iTouch app

The Birthday ($1.99) is a new iTouch story book app featuring Frank the Frog and Gigi the Giraffe. The story is centered around Frank trying to think of a gift to give Gigi for her birthday. The narrator asks the player to answer questions, based on the story, to help move the story along. There is a mix of math and reading skills needed to answer questions.

This is the first app that I have seen that tells an actual story as the player interacts with it. I like the mixture of questions (abstract thinking, listening comprehension, and number recognition are a few of the concepts represented) and the story is engaging enough. I didn't like the narrator's answer when a question is missed ("That's not right."), and I am concerned about how many times the app would be used after initial completion. A child would probably finish in about 20-25 minutes, but I wonder if they will interested enough to play multiple times.

With a story as the centerpiece, I think The Birthday represents an interesting twist for apps. I will be curious to see how other story-based apps perform.

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