The saying “Less is More” is very true with the iPad app ABC Expedition. This is an entertaining ABC app with clean, minimal design. The colors, graphics and noise are all kept at a minimum and everything comes together to create a fantastic app. Captain Wallace is the character in charge of the ABC Expedition and he’d like to show your child around the zoo. The first thing you’ll notice is that there are only a few colors used throughout the entire app. The designers have been clever in the use of colors when they create the twenty-six animals that live in the zoo. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by an animal and many aren’t the animal that first comes to mind. Your child will likely learn a few new ones thanks to Captain Wallace. Think yak, urial and inchworm. To see the letters and animals you can tap on a letter on the main screen or go through the alphabet in order.
Letter screens will show the letter on a white background. The animals will appear and perform an animation on the screen. Their behavior is subtly humorous, it’s not in your face slapstick, but it’s silly nonetheless. Children will get it if they keep their eyes on the screen and if not then adults will see the humor. After the animation is over your child can tap on the animal to hear it’s noise. Over and over again if they like. They can tap on the letter to hear it spoken aloud and on the animal’s name to hear that read by Captain Wallace.
In addition to the alphabet and it’s animals Captain Wallace also manages the zoo. On the app’s main screen you’ll see a button that says “Visit the Zoo”. When your child taps this button they’ll go to the zoo, a screen that shows Captain Wallace and all of his animals. Here they can tap on any of the animals to hear the sound they make.
For me, the charm of ABC Expedition lies in it’s design and the animal animations. I found them both to be refreshing and the fact that neither one was “over the top” was very appealing. This app gets a big thumbs up from me and I’m not surprised it’s been seen on Apple’s New & Noteworthy list.