When I was little, paper dolls were one my favorite toys. I remember spending hours dressing them up and creating elaborate scenarios for them, which I recounted to just about everyone who was willing to listen.
Fast forward to the present day, the paper dolls that I knew may not be as common anymore, but they are not gone. In Creativium, we see how paper dolls have been remade into digital forms to suit today's modern world.
All the World's a Stage
Creativium is a simple app that allows juniors aged 2 and up to imagine and play with virtual paper sets. Putting emphasize on creativity, it employs a rule-free and timeless gameplay.
Straight after opening the app, you select a set that will be your playground for the day. As of the current version (1.0.1), the app only offers one set--a fairytale forest complete with a castle, a rainbow and adorable woodland creatures--with more promised to come as free updates.
An app rich in interactivity, almost every object in a Creativium scene can be manipulated. For instance, you can drag and drop the animals anywhere you like and tap to make them scurry across the screen, giggle and do other whimsical animations.
With trees, you can tap on them to make different kinds of fruits and flowers appear. On the contrary, shaking your device will make them fall off. Tapping on the clouds make them change colors, while tapping on the rainbow triggers a wave of shooting stars and a happy tune.
At the center of the scene is a castle which you can decorate with more than 25 ornate items like balloons, stars and bunting banners. You can also place static characters, such as princesses, knights and wizards, anywhere on the castle.
Once you have made your perfect fairytale scene, you can snap a photo or two to remind you of your masterpiece. Simply tap on the Camera button at the top left and the app will save a picture of your creation.
Parents Need to Know
Creativium is a loveable app that provides a frustration-free gameplay with no rules and no instructions. Using simple taps and few gestures, juniors can compose their own fairytale scenes and stories to go along with them.
Being an app that focuses on creative entertainment, Creativium doesn't teach any specific skills. However, you can use the app to highlight topics such as counting, recognizing colors and learning the names of animals.
Things I Like
Despite its simplicity, Creativium is an excellent app. The frustration-free gameplay is a great for young juniors and is highly entertaining.
One of the things that I find appealing is the tiny interactions and animations in the scene. Every object is designed to engage. For instance, tapping on the trees not only yields fruits but also triggers a lovely tune. Even as you are idle, birds fly from one tree to another, raccoons scurry across bridges and clouds float by.
The engaging sound effects also help bring the scene come to life. I know that some parents are picky about the kind of music included in their children's apps as they can be maddening when played over and over again, but this is not the case with Creativium. The continuous chirping of birds in the background is a relaxing soundtrack, as well as the buzzing of bees and the twinkling of stars.
In terms of enhancement, I do wish that the castle is just as animated as the rest of the scene. It's nice to be able to decorate it with festive items, but it would be better if the balloons could actually fly or the knight moved. Another small suggestion would be to move the home button somewhere less conspicuous as I kept tapping on it by mistake and had to lose my work in progress.
Creativium is a wonderful app with a relaxing gameplay, engaging visuals and great interactivity. Juniors with a creative flair will enjoy moving and interacting with objects to make their ideal pictures. On the other hand, parents will delight in listening to their juniors weave fantastic stories about their creations. The only downside of the app is that there is only one scene to play with for now, but hopefully this will be fixed in future updates.
If you are getting Creativium, please note that the app does not support the first generation iPad.
Note: Thank you to Tricky Eyes for providing us with the promo code for Creativium. I thought that it was noteworthy.