I’ll start by saying the graphics in Brave Storybook Deluxe are stunning. Everything is clear and sharp – I can only imagine what this app looks like on the iPad 3! I loved that the book combined still images as well as short animated scenes from the movie. When it comes to the option of a narrated story or reading on my own, I usually turn off the narration feature – I either dislike the narrator’s voice or prefer to read at my own pace; however, I was completely drawn in by narrator Nolan North’s ability to tell the story and his use of a Scottish accent. Brave also highlights the voices of the actors from the movie when the characters in the storybook speak, adding to the storytelling experience.
Brave features three story modes, Follow Along, Read and Explore, and My Recording. My Recording allows users to tap the microphone icon at any time to substitute their own narration on any or all of the pages. The next time you visit the page, your voice recording will play automatically. You can turn off My Recording on the home screen in order to hear the original narrator.
The Read and Explore Mode lets the reader explore the book at their own pace, with or without narration. It also provides access to many interactive features through various icons on the screen. Returning to the story after exploring an interactive feature is easily done by tapping the book icon. Features can also be accessed through the Play icon on the main screen.
Interactive features include Merida’s Challenge, Archer’s Quest, coloring, and puzzles. The objective of Merida’s Challenge is to hit as many archery targets as possible. Users tap the targets to aim and shoot Merida’s arrows all while Merida is riding on her horse, Angus. The game includes three levels – easy, medium, and hard, and ends when you run out of arrows. Users can unlock special arrows in the Archer’s Quest.
Archer’s Quest is a scavenger hunt where users search for arrows hidden throughout the storybook. Archery bags appear on certain pages in the Read and Explore mode. When a bag appears, tap the hidden arrow on the screen and one of the special arrows is added to your collection. There are three different types of arrows, each providing a special power in Merida’s Challenge.
The coloring and puzzle section each feature six scenes from the app to either color or put back together. Coloring pages can be saved to the photo library or emailed when finished. The puzzles break into 25 pieces and users can only see 5 of the pieces at a time when putting the puzzle back together. A watermark image of the puzzle remains on the screen assisting users in placing pieces in the correct location.
There is a small information icon on the home screen which will direct app users to either a keep in touch section, an instructions section, or a credits section. There are no IAP’s or social media links present in this app; however, the Keep In Touch section provides access to the app store to purchase more Disney Storybooks and asks users to input their email to receive more information from Disney Books.
At $6.99 this app is more expensive than most in my collection, but stunning graphics, entertaining interactive features, and impeccable narration make Brave an app worth having. The Scottish Highlands have long been a fierce, proud land filled with stories, and magic, and danger. Merida, the Princess of DunBroch, adds her tale of courage and determination to the ancient lore as she sets out to defy an age-old tradition and forge her own destiny.
• Disney/Pixar animation and tap-and-play surprises!
• Full retelling of the film with text highlighting!
• Character voices, music, and vibrant art!
• Action-packed archery game featuring scrolling animation and pop-up targets!
• Challenging scavenger hunts, dynamic puzzles, and coloring pages!
• Multiple reading modes: Follow Along, Read and Explore, and Record Your Own Voice!