One of my favorite eBook apps to date is Nosy Crow’s The Three Little Pigs, so naturally I was very excited to have a look at their latest app, Cinderella. Again bringing the high production values to an eBook, I appreciate that Nosy Crow is developing a signature look and feel. The illustration and animation are lovely, especially in the magical bits with the fairy godmother. Again the voiceovers are adorable and keep the story grounded firmly in a kid’s world.
Where Cinderella one-ups The Three Little Pigs is in the interactivity. Yes, you can still click on characters and get tons of dialog, but now you can really participate in key moments in the story: dressing the sisters for the ball, gathering mice and a pumpkin in the garden for the fairy godmother, dressing Cinderella, and perhaps most importantly, putting the glass slipper on Cinderella’s foot.
There are other little moments that are good fun as well. You can help Cinderella clean up the house by putting dishes in the sink and on the shelf. Or gather the King’s invitations to the ball into a stack. This has become my daughter’s favorite activity: “Mommy, I made the stack taller than the Prince again!” You can touch floating notes to change the music and dance that Cinderella and the Prince do. And, as all princess tales should, it ends in a game of ping-pong.
Nosy Crow implemented clever uses of the technology. Whenever there’s a mirror, it uses the iPad’s camera to insert a picture of you. If you shake the iPad, all of the dishes you’ve cleaned fall off the shelf. You might want to warn the little ones of this particular feature, because they might undo some of their hard work by accident. Also, anytime there’s a mirror, they use the camera to put you into the frame, a delight for little kids.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the next app in the series will be. There are two improvements I’d suggest for the next one. It would be great to have the game space all on a single screen. When Cinderella tells you to put dishes in the sink, the sink is not even on screen. You have to pan to find it and then pan back to find the cups. I’d also lose some of the interruptibility of the dialog. You can start up a lot of things at the same time, making for some royal chaos. None of that really seems to bother my 6-year-old devoted fan, though. If Nosy Crow stays this inventive, we have a lot to look forward to!
Cinderella is $4.99 for iPhone and $7.99 for iPad. I received a copy of the iPad app for review.