Lately, I’ve noticed that more apps are bringing bits and bobs from the real world into digital play. I’m talking about apps like Identikat, Loopy Lost His Lettuce, and more recently, Ephemerid, which use paper and fabric to create distinctive worlds.
Another app that has joined the trend is Bop Underwater by developer House of Big Things. Crafted from cut and scanned fabric, it presents an underwater world that will enchant kids with its tiny surprises.
Leading the exploration is Bop, a curious mole and the titular character. When kids start the app, they’ll see him dive underwater with his snorkel. A quick swipe to the left will reveal the first scene.
Here, kids are asked to put together a submarine by dragging each floating piece to its correct place. Once the task is completed, kids can watch as the submarine (with Bop inside) takes off across the bottom of the sea. They then move to the next scene, where a new task awaits.
The app has a total of 12 scenes. Each scene stands on its own, but all 12 are interconnected. Kids try to complete a different task in each scene. For example, uncovering colorful pipefish from their hiding places, retrieving sunken pots, getting rid of the garbage from sea floor, and helping an octopus retrieve its missing suction pads.
Parents Need to Know
No language proficiency is required to use Bop Underwater. The app doesn’t come with instructions, but it’s quite intuitive for kids as young as two years old. If necessary, a ladybug will scurry across the screen and land on a place where kids need to tap.
The app doesn’t contain in-app purchases or third-party apps. Links to the developer’s social media pages and other apps are tucked away in a protected section for parents.
Things I Like
Beautifully made, Bop Underwater encourage kids to interact with every part of the app. I like the play of texture and colors in the visuals, as well as the low-key sound effects that enrich the playing experience.
I also enjoy the included tasks, which are simple enough for young kids to complete on their own even without any instructions. And while the app leans heavier on the playful side, it’s nice to see some of the tasks cover basic skills such as counting and recognizing colors.
Plenty of storytelling opportunities are available in the app as it doesn’t include a narrative. Kids thus can imagine their own stories about Bop the mole, like where he comes from and where he is going in his submarine.
One suggestion I do have for the developer is to maybe factor in some random elements to make the playing experience more engaging. It would be nice if, for example, the submarine comes in different colors or the sunken pots have different patterns each time.
Bop Underwater is a playful underwater world made out of colorful buttons and fabric. Kids have fun with Bop the mole as they explore 12 interconnected scenes and complete various tasks. Instruction-less but intuitive, the app is accessible by kids as young as two years old.
If you liked the app, I would also recommend Bop Collect Clouds, which follows Bop’s adventure through the flower fields and the circus.
Bop Underwater is available for iPad
Get it on the App Store: iPad
App was provided for our honest review.