Have your kids ever read a story and wanted to change how it went? MIXUP Picture Book lets them do just that. It's an interactive storybook for kids where they choose the plot and change the outcome.
Choose Your Own Adventure
In MIXUP, kids mix and match elements from existing fairytales to create entirely new stories. They start with a base of The Little Red Riding Hood, then add a dash of Ali Baba and Cinderella. There are more than 50 possible endings and hundreds of possibilities that make each reading session fresh and unique.
The app itself is easy to use: to navigate the story, kids simply tap the arrows on either sides of the screen. At regular key points throughout the story, they choose which plot line to follow. Perhaps the Little Red Riding Hood will go see the Fairy Godmother instead, or maybe the Wolf Prince will dance at the ball with the forty thieves.
At any point of the story, kids can go back to undo their previous choices. They can also restart the story by tapping the house icon on the top left. The app includes narration in English, and kids can toggle the text on or off.
Parents Need to Know
MIXUP encourages kids to get creative. The app is open-ended, meaning there are no rules as to how kids should build their stories. They can be faithful to the original plot of each fairytale, or change as many things as they like. The resulting story always makes sense regardless.
The app contains no ads, no in-app purchases, and no links to external sites. It works without an Internet connection. One thing to note is that the app's file size is fairly large at 600+ MB, so be sure to check your device's free storage before downloading.
Things I Like
MIXUP is a lot of fun. It gives kids the freedom to unleash their imagination, and encourages them to tell their own stories. There is plenty of humor mixed in with a few dark surprises, and I love that it's possible to create stories without happy endings. The app itself is well designed so that every plot twist merges beautifully.
Because the app requires kids to read/listen carefully, it helps foster literacy through reading/listening comprehension. Grown-ups can also use the app as a starting point for learning creative writing, and to introduce kids to story structure. Kids can take their inspiration from the app, and try combining existing stories to create something new.
In terms of production value, the app is great. The art style is minimalist but fluid, and it matches well with the whimsical nature of the stories. The narration is clear and expressive, though I wish it could be toggled on or off just like the text.
I highly recommend MIXUP if your family enjoys books that let you choose your own adventures. The app takes well-loved stories, and gives kids a way to retell them in an active, playful way. Great for ages four and up.
App was provided for our honest review.