Ancient tales recount how the Greek hero Theseus bravely defeated the Minotaur who inhabited the winding labyrinth of Crete. But, did you know that it was actually Basileo who deserved all the glory?
In the new original saga Basileo, kids will follow a heroic young centaur to discover the most popular Greek myths. Witty and beautifully illustrated, the stories are not exact retellings but a fun way to learn about ancient Greece nevertheless. The first episode, Basileo and the Labyrinth, is based on the story of Theseus and the Minotaur.
Basileo and the Labyrinth
We begin the story with an introduction to our hero: Basileo, an upturned centaur (he has the body of a man from the waist down) who, at six years old, decides that he will become the most famous hero of Greece. His plan is to sail to Crete in order to defeat the Minotaur in the Knossos Labyrinth. But, he is not the only one on a quest — Theseus of Athens is also looking for a chance at fame.
Unlike historic textbooks that tend to be more serious, Basileo and the Labyrinth takes a comedic approach. The main character, Basileo, is a misunderstood half-beast with great ambitions. Theseus, on the other hand, is portrayed as a cunning, arrogant man who is regarded highly by everyone. The two together on a page creates an interesting dynamic.
The story spans 22 short pages that translate to about 15 minutes of reading. Interactive illustrations adorn every page, engaging readers as they read along. For example, in the scene where Basileo reaches the Knossos Labyrinth, you can tap on the doorbell to ring it.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Basileo and the Labyrinth is an original tale based on the classic myth. Artistic deliberations have been taken to produce a lighthearted and child-friendly story, including altering Minotaur’s background story and Theseus’s personality. That said, the resulting tale is still a great precursor to learning more about Greek myths.
Designed for ages 6-8, the app has excellent reading options that cater to different reading levels. You can turn on or off the text, audio narration, and background music separately from any page. The text is available in four languages: French, English, Italian, and Spanish. The audio narration is available in French, English, and Italian.
The app works great in Airplane mode. It contains no in-app purchases, no ads, and no social media links. It is available now for iPad on the App Store. Please note that iOS 8.0 is required to use the app.
Things I Like
The humorous story and comical characters in Basileo and the Labyrinth make for an enjoyable read. Basileo can be an obnoxious grump, but at the same time he is courageous and kind. The other characters are also likable in their own ways; for example, Basileo’s mother, who readily commends her son’s efforts even though he admits failure.
Visually, the app has clean and modern illustrations that fit the story nicely. Clever interactive features provide extra appeal even for the reluctant reader. My favorite features is the flip-flap book which allows you to assemble unique hybrid creatures at the beginning of the story. I also like how you can make a rolled-up pita in the market scene by dragging the ingredients in the correct order.
The only downside to this app is that the English text has a few grammatical errors. It would be great if it were fixed in the next update, but this is still a nice app. I can’t wait for Basileo’s next adventure!
An original storybook based on the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Comical characters set the story apart, while interactive illustrations engage readers as they follow Basileo’s adventure. Excellent reading options cater to readers of different levels. Suitable for ages 6 and up.
Get it on the App Store: iPad
App was provided for our honest review.