This is one of those books that takes interactivity to a whole new level. There are over 100 different places in it's mere 10 pages to amuse kids, including several games embedded in the story. The animation and overall graphic style reminded me a little of the movie, "Robots". And in some ways, this book is basically like a movie you can touch and shake, triggering all sorts of animation and sound effects. The animations are definitely of the 'wow' variety, so this is a book that children will want to play with as long as they are allowed. I put 30 minutes for time, since that was the longest I let my child play with it, but I suspect it could occupy a child for longer.
Thankfully this book has instructions for parents, although the help document is not something you can quickly peruse at 21 pages. It's more like a reference document in case you get stuck. There are also elaborate controls for the settings, although the default settings are just right for a pre-reader to open the book and play with it without much adult assistance.
You can even narrate the story yourself. And the narration, including your own, has a "Voice Pitch Control" to distort it, just for fun. I did notice that many of the 'adjustable' settings were a little touchy. But this was minor considering how nice it was to simply have so many ways to adjust the sound effects, music and narration.
While the graphics and animated elements are like a visual feast, the story, told in rhyme, is very hard to follow with all the other attention-grabbing elements. The rhymes are also a bit over the heads of young readers, like saying Cozmo's rocket went so fast that it "swept aside stars like an orbital broom." This may be a difficult book for younger children to understand simply from the narrated story, but there is no lack of other things in this book to keep a child of any age occupied.
For obvious reasons, this is not a bedtime read. But this app gets high overall marks and is well worth a download. It is also extremely well made and will offer a child many enjoyable hours of exploration, making it a good value for parents.
Also check out this developer's first release, Jack & the Beanstalk (Click HERE for our review).
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
10 - 30 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 3 - 10 +
Cozmo is an alien, or 'little green dude', and has many exciting adventures in a retro-futuristic world. Cozmo is trying to get to work, but encounters several problems, including hitting "warp" on his rocket, running out of gas and almost being eaten. When he finally gets to his office, there is a note that says enjoy your weekend. It was his day off and he didn't need to go to work after-all. Lush graphics and animation with dozens of interactive elements.