Animalia – Kids Learning Games & Interactive Story App Review
The story of The Lion and the Mouse gets an update in this interactive ebook. Animalia tells of a lion and a mouse who like to watch horror movies together. As kids read through the story, they can interact with both the lion and the mouse. While the illustrations and narration are high quality, the interactive animations could be improved. As it stands, it’s still a unique retelling of a classic story.
Story with a moral
Fun mini games
Kids can choose to view the stories in two ways – as a video or as an interactive story. The video moves quickly (perhaps a little too quickly) and is a good way to introduce kids to the story. The interactive story is easy to navigate through, however, it doesn’t have quite the same quality feel. This is largely because of the interactive components. When an opportunity to interact with the story is available, kids see flashing dots, but the dots are a bit off-putting. There is also a slight lag for some of the interactions. The app does do a good job of showing kids how to move their device at particular points in the story. For example, kids must tilt the device at times. It also features cute animations and quality narration.
Developers say that the goal of the app is to engage kids and help them learn through motions and language. However, the main educational value in the app lies in the story. Kids will learn through the moral of the story about the lion and the mouse. There are elements of the story that are a little too modern and unbelievable. For example, the lion is watching a horror movie on his laptop. For early readers, the story is narrated. It is also accompanied by text that appears as the story is narrated. However, the text is a bit small for kids who want to read along.
As kids read through the story, they can interact with the animations on the page. For example, one of the first tasks kids get to complete is to feed the lion. The tasks are all fairly simple and generally relate to the story. One downside is that the written instructions, such as “tap the laptop” aren’t read aloud, so early readers may not know what to do. Also, while there’s a lot of tapping and tilting, many of the animations have the same feel, so kids may stop being entertained by them.
The app is priced comparably to similar interactive ebooks. However, the quality knocks down its value a bit. If developers could increase the text size and improve the quality of some of the animations, it would have a much higher value.
A protected parent area gives parents access to additional developer apps, in-app settings, and a brief user guide. All of the content contained within the app is child-friendly.