Kids become authors and directors in Lipa Theater: Story Maker. This creative app gives kids the chance to play around with characters and record their own short stories using those characters. Along with a host of characters, they’re given backgrounds, props, and other tools to enhance their stories. They can then go to town to make everything come to life. While the app has a few flaws, most kids will find that they really enjoy creating their stories and narrating animated movies of their own.
- Available in eight languages
- Theater School and My Story Mode
- Play with Characters or Record Stories
- Multiple props, characters, and settings available.
At first glance, Lipa Theater: Story Maker feels a bit overwhelming. The main screen contains a parent section, a Lipa Theater account icon, a settings icon, and a more apps icon. Once kids press the play button, Casper pops up and gives them an introduction. From there, they can choose whether to enter the Theater School or My Story sections. In the My Story section kids can explore the features of the app on their own, but the Theater School section gives them a very thorough, and at times frustrating, overview of all of the features of the app and story making in general. When it comes to creating stories, the app is laid out fairly well with clear icons that organize the different props and functions. The characters are a bit funky and with wobbly limbs that are hard to control, but most kids will not mind.
The app promotes creative thinking and storytelling. In the Theater School section, kids are given a good overview of how to use the app and what to think about when telling a story. Casper, the narrator, encourages them to think about how the characters might interact on a deeper level, including talking about the characters’ feelings. Unfortunately, this section is very long and somewhat boring for kids who simply want to start creating their own stories. Fortunately, kids don’t have to sit through the Theater School (although they really should) to get to the story making. They can jump right in, choose their characters, and create some really creative stories.
Kids will have a lot of fun choosing characters, moving them around the screen, and adding props to make their scenes more entertaining. What they’ll like most is being able to record their stories, including using the microphone to provide their own voices or narration. The characters move somewhat like marionettes and it may take kids a bit of time to get used to maneuvering them the way they want. However, with practice, they’ll be able to put the characters in many fun positions. For those who don’t want to put in the practice, the app is still a lot of fun.
This app contains a host of characters, props, and settings for kids. It also allows them to record their videos utilizing those items. The app is priced comparably to similar apps. Unlike some similar apps, the characters seem a bit lackluster, but kids will still have fun. The theater school section adds a bit of value to the app because it encourages kids to think deeper about the type of stories they can create.
The app opens with a few screens designed to be read by parents. While these screens are helpful, they would work better if they were contained in the parent area for parents to access as they don’t provide much information to really help children interact with the app. On these screens and the main screen, children will see more apps areas. Access to the app store is protected by a parental block, but it’s a fairly simple block that many children may accidentally find their way around. The same is true of the ability to post videos to Facebook or share them by e-mail. These methods are protected by a parental block, but children, particularly those who can read, will easily find their way around it. The app also encourages parents to set up a Lipa account.
- Protected parent area (can contain external links & social media)
- NO external links
- NO 3rd party ads
- NO in-app purchase
- YES social media (protected, but visible)
- YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)
Kids become directors as they create and narrate their own animated stories.