When I first opened this book app, I thought to myself, "Move over Morris Lessmore, there's a new girl in town." Flip, by Grids Interactive, is just that innovative and refreshing, presenting a story that is slight in plot but heavy in spirit. Little Emma emerges in a dreary world where her narrative is not to her liking. So instead she rips a hot air balloon right from the page and flies away.
Breathtaking computer graphics in full 3D spring to life in every one of this title's very short seven scenes. The effects are simply awe inspiring, whetting the readers appetite for a big adventure. The only disappointment is that we get just the beginning of Emma's story, leaving the reader with more questions than answers. Who is Emma? What was her story inside the book? Why was it dreary? And where did she end up instead that made her satisfied to return to the pages of her book?
But these questions are only burning because Emma is so enchanting ... and the animation so mesmerizing. The world spins beneath her feet, a storm carries her hot air balloon off and she even falls into nothingness after a dramatic punching through the membrane of the book that has held her life up until now. Nice hints let the reader know how to help Emma fly off, although it might be nice to be able to turn these visual prompts off for subsequent readings.
Technical difficulties for a highly produced app like this can be understandable, and testing on the iPad 1 was less than satisfying until resetting the device and killing all the programs running in the background. Page turn and animations can be touchy at times, revealing briefly the complexity of the computer programming behind such a highly produced story. This is a momentary distraction, however, given the truly magical impact of this app's presentation. Little Emma decides to write her own tale, exploring the book she is born into through stunning special effects that readers will not soon forget.
Overall the app is solidly made with nice settings, including the ability to record your own narration. Since the story's plot doesn't delve further into Emma's life, the reader may be left hungry for more of her story, though. This place "was not for Emma" it says at the end, but she reaches out and rips off the 'not', leaving us to wonder what might be in store for the young protagonist in a future app perhaps? I, for one, hope this is just the beginning of Emma's story! Highly recommended.
A portion of the net proceeds for each download of Flip will be donated to The Huntsman Cancer Institute at University of Utah.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Grids Interactive, LLC
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 10
Little Emma is inside a book, bound to its pages, but this place was dreary and not for her ... so she takes matters into her own hands, pulling on a lever in her pop-up book after literally tearing her feet from the page. A hot air balloon appears, and after ripping it out of the book, too, Emma hops in and flies away.
She crosses vast fields, picking a flower as she flies by ... then she passes through a scary forest with all sorts of animals hidden in the shadows. Soon a storm takes her balloon into the stars and 'nothing could stop her' ... except ... when there was nothing left. As her balloon punches through the final page of the book, she sees the words, "The End" and hangs perilously onto the edge of the page before falling into an abyss.
Dragonflies help her regain her footing and return with her to fly into the book again. She passes through the city, but this time something has changed. "This place was not for Emma." says the page, but instead of leaving, she handily rips the word "not" from the page, making this place "for Emma".