I am a fan of 3D pop-up book apps from StoryToys. Recently, they have been experimenting with apps for younger juniors (released under StoryToys Jr. series) and non-storybook apps. My app pick for today is their latest non-storybook app called Haunted House - 3D Pop-up Activity Book, which is just in time for Halloween.
Seven Halloween-Themed Activities
Haunted House - 3D Pop-up Activity Book consists of seven Halloween-themed activities packaged into a 3D pop-up book app. These activities feature popular Halloween characters, such as Frankenstein, Wilma the Witch, and Uncle Drac.
The first activity lets juniors tap their way through a monster-filled dark forest and into a Haunted House. They can also tap on pumpkins that are hidden behind various objects along the way.
All the subsequent activities take place inside the Haunted House. Kids start by carving the pumpkin to make two eyes and a mouth. Then, they will continue with dressing up Jack O' Lantern with various hats, wigs, ears, and make-up.
In the next game, kids get to control Wilma the Witch and The Mummy as they ride on the Ghost Train. Each time they pass a ghost, kids need to whack it by tapping the character nearest to the ghost. Because Wilma sits on the left side of the cart, tapping on her will whack on the ghosts that pass through the left of the cart. To whack the ghosts on the other side, tap on the Mummy instead.
The fourth activity is called Hubble Bubble, in which kids create a magic potion that can turn Wilma the Witch into a scary monster. Simply drag various items, such as a giant mosquito, a garlic, or even an insect, and say the magic word: "Abracadabra!" If Wilma turns into a cute banana or a lollipop, then kids need to create a scarier potion mix for her.
The fifth game is a bit more difficult to play, because it requires kids to focus and follow a pair of glowing green eyes. In this Hide and Shriek game, kids are asked to remember which character goes to which door.
They start by remembering how the characters are lined up when the lights are on. Frankenstein will then turn the lights off, and the characters will go behind any door they like. The only clue is a pairs of green eyes that will move along the character in question. When the light is on, kids need to find which door the character is hiding behind.
The last two games let kids improve their fine motor skills. In Monster Tickle, they must piece back together Frankenstein’s body parts. In Bat Attack, they are asked to put up Halloween decorations inside a room without waking up Uncle Drac.
Parents Need to Know
Haunted Horror is not a storybook, instead it is a collection of activities and mini games packaged inside a 3D pop-up book. It is quite similar to another activity app designed by StoryToys: Farm 123. While Farm 123 was designed for juniors ages 1-3 to learn counting, Haunted Horror was designed for juniors ages 4-6 to celebrate Halloween with mini games.
Despite being a non-storybook app, Haunted House offers two reading options: Read to Me and Read It Myself, which allows older juniors to test their reading skills. The app itself is published in four languages: English, French, German, and Spanish. It also comes with Stickers and Jigsaw Puzzle activities. Some of the stickers and jigsaw puzzles are available for free, and you can unlock the rest with an in-app purchase.
Things I Like
Haunted Horror really brings the Halloween theme to life. It has great background music, sound effects, and animations that fit the theme really well. The games are also well-designed and the characters appealing.
The app includes a list of badges that indicate certain achievements you make in the games. Getting all the badges can be quite difficult for younger juniors. For example, to get the Ghost Whacker badge in the Ghost Train game, you can’t miss any ghost, even if the cart is moving really fast.
I also like how the games move up in difficulty. For example, the Hide and Shriek game starts with three pairs of slow-moving eyes, then gradually moves on to five pairs of fast-moving eyes. This makes winning the Monster Hunter badge really challenging.
Haunted Horror is a great activity app for juniors ages 4-6. Like other StoryToys productions, the app looks terrific. It also has great game mechanics and fun characters. Worth checking out if you are looking for Halloween-themed apps for your kids.
Haunted House - 3D Pop-up Activity Book is available for iPad and iPhone.
Get it on the App Store: iPad/iPhone
App was provided for our honest review.