The Monster Fish is the first storybook app from developer Squeeze Games. It makes quite an impressive entry with its stunning 3D graphics, beautiful animations, entertaining story and an excellent narrating voice. The Monster Fish follows the Wendell family (Dad, Mom, Sam, and Katy) on their camping adventure. One Day, Dad, Sam and Katy go on a boat to try and catch some fish for dinner. Katy hooks a monster fish that jumps out the water. Dad, Sam, and Katy are mesmerized as the fish appears to stop and float in mid-air for a few seconds before jumping back in the water.
Upon returning to camp, they excitedly tell Mom about the monster fish. Mom, however, finds it hard to believe such an extravagant tale. The next day, Dad seeks out to catch the monster fish with the aid of an electronic fish tracker. Will he, along with Katy and Sam, find the monster fish again and catch it to prove to Mom that their story was true?
One of the things that makes this storybook app stand out from the rest is that it makes readers feel as if they are fully immersed in the story. To be more precise, it feels as if they are not just reading a story, but actually observing the Wendell family from a boat on the lake. The water on the foreground of each page gently rocks up and down like small waves while soothing nature sounds play on the background. My kids have never read a storybook app with this kind of animation before and we absolutely loved it.
After reading the story, readers can play a bonus game called “Find the Animals”. This game takes you back to ten different scenes in the story with hidden animals. When an animal is found, three fun facts about the animal pops up on the screen. If the animal you are looking for makes noise, it will make its noise as you search for it. At the end of the game, there is a small bonus animation. If you place your finger on the screen, a dragonfly flies towards your finger and a monster jumps up to catch the dragonfly.
There are a few things I would like to see in future updates. I would like to see words highlighted as they are read. This feature would be an excellent addition for children who are just learning how to read. I would also like more interactivity, perhaps at least one interactive object on each page. For example, my kids thought it would have been fun if they were able to click on the fishing rods to cast them as the story describes. I would also like to suggest removing the wave-like animation on the pages where the scenes do not involve water. In those scenes, like when Sam was telling the class about the monster fish, it didn’t make sense to have the screen moving as if he was on a boat.
Overall, I found the app to be very well done and my kids absolutely enjoyed it. If your family loves camping, your kids will definitely like The Monster Fish. If you are trying to get your kids excited about camping, this app just might do the trick!
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
This review was originally published by TheiMums.com on September 2, 2015. The iMums – Amanda, Alison, Mary and Grace – are four mothers from different parts of the world dedicated to educating parents about the best digital stories, educational apps, fun games and technology products available for their children. Founded in August 2011, the four iMums have 11 kids among them ranging in age from 1 to 17 and bring a global perspective to their app reviews.
The original iMum Amanda being from Australia, Alison is in America, Grace is from Singapore and Mary is from the UK but is currently living in America. Guest author Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Author Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
5 - 8 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 8 +
This app was made with the goal to engage, entertain and educate children about the great outdoors of North America. I'm sure that you’ll appreciate the high quality of visuals and sound that go together to make this a delightful animated storybook that your child will love.
The Story: The Wenders family are on a summer camping vacation in a beautiful national park where they experience a truly weird and wonderful adventure while on a fishing trip.
Features: Your child can read this app alone or choose the "Read to Me" option for an engaging narration that will captivate and entertain through 22 pages of ‘frozen-in-time’ animations. An educational 'Find the Animals' game is also included
What is ‘frozen-in-time’ animation?: It’s a little hard to describe (but a delight to see) but think of physically standing in an outdoor scene and swaying your body and head around (slightly). When you do this you will experience a sense of a truly 3-dimensional environment. This is a quite different experience from viewing a static picture or photo. We’re sure you’ll agree that it’s an immersive effect that pulls the viewer right into the storybook!