With the iPad now becoming a household name, it is nice to see many developers creating unique apps to take advantage of the device's capability. Today's app, Grimm's Puss in Boots, pops out of the crowd thanks to its clever use of 3D interactivity to bring a classic tale to life.
A Cat-astic Adventure
Grimm's Puss in Boots is the latest app from StoryToys, developers of a series of digital pop-up books adapted from famous fairy tales. In this excellent adaptation, the infamous feline comes alive with the help of colorful and interactive 3D animations.
The story of the flamboyant Puss in Boots begins with a miller who has three sons, a donkey and a cat. When the miller dies, the youngest son who inherits the cat son learns that the feline is cleverer than he looks.
The cat, who is able to talk like a human, persuades the miller's son to buy him a pair of boots, a hat and a bag. After strapping on his new attire, the cat then sets off to capture animals in the forest and presents his bounty to the King in the name of a mysterious count.
One day, the King and his beautiful daughter goes on a carriage ride alongside the river. Knowing this, the cat instructs his master to jump naked into the river. When the King's carriage draws near, the cat tells the King that his master the count -- who is actually the miller's son -- has been robbed. Remembering the count's many gifts, the King orders his guards to help him and even dresses him in elegant clothes.
Meanwhile, the cat runs off ahead to the villagers working on the farms that if the King asks them about the owner of the lands, they should answer that it is the count. He then runs off to a grand castle belonging to a fearsome ogre, who is renowned for his ability to transform into any animal. The cat challenges the proud ogre to turn into a mouse and devours him.
Soon, the King's carriage arrives at the castle. Believing the miller's son to be a rich and wise fellow, the King deems him worthy to marry the Princess. A royal wedding soon follows and they all live happily ever after.
Parents Need to Know
While the Grimm's Puss in Boots may not be the first to adapt the famous French fairy tale into the digital format, it is the first that I know to mimic a 3D pop-up book. Between the virtual pages of the book, there are 9 interactive 3D pop-up scenes with simple mini games to play. Some of the activities in the book include picking out a hat for Puss, helping him catch butterflies with his paws and balancing him on a scale by filling his bag with treasure.
As a children's app, navigating between pages is easy by tapping the left and right arrows or swiping the corner of a page. There is also a table of contents that you can access to jump straight to a specific page.
There are three reading modes available: Read to Me, Read it Myself and Autoplay. Should you choose to have the story read to you, the app features an excellent narration in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish.
It is worth noting that unlike the other Puss in Boots app that we've reviewed before, the app is pretty faithful to the original storyline. However, it does leave out some gory details to keep the story cheerful and kid-friendly.
What I Like
While Puss in Boots is not one of my favorite stories, I do think that Grimm's Puss in Boots is one of the best digital adaptation that I have come across. The app cleverly combines the look and feel of a real book with the interactive capabilities of a digital medium, creating a beautiful and engaging presentation.
The 3D pop-up scenes are wonderful when they appear and I like that they provide simple but fun activities for juniors as young as 3 years old to play. That said, I do appreciate that the pop-up scenes do not take up the whole book; instead, they are only found every few text-based pages. This way, the interactive parts of the app do not take away from the story but enhance the reading experience instead.
The audio elements of the app are also nicely done. I think that the included voiceover is really emotive and engaging to listen to. The subtle soundtrack and humorous sound effects also brighten the story.
Overall, Grimm's Puss in Boots is a great storybook app with lots of interactivity. If you like collecting fairy tales for your juniors, I highly recommend it.
App was provided for our honest review.