Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Parents will be excited to hear of a new app from the developers of Bugs and Buttons - a creative app that still includes a quirky bug theme that the developers at Little Bit Studio are known for. Bug Art is a lovely app that allows children to design their own critter, be it different types of beetles, dragonfly, ant, or the like, using a nice variety of art supplies and bug-shaped templates that one can fill in and decorate. They can also select from many color choices and drawing points, including three paintbrush heads, a pencil, and a marker choice, as well as other tools for bug personalization.
Do check out the rainbow color button that enlarges the color selections, adding a larger collection of secondary and immediate colors as well as the related darker, muted shades that I appreciate a great deal. Glitter is an option, as are the inclusion of bug images, stamps, stickers, and even one’s own photos. An eraser is included that will remove all marks from the page, but an undo button would have been helpful as well, as it would allow children to subtract the last detail added to their work instead of having to restart from the white, paper-like background if the eraser is employed.
I admire how some anatomical markings are added to one’s projects to create some very realistic bugs, complete with subtle shading that results in a dimensional creature, merging the fantasy creations children have created nicely for some very interesting, stylized bugs that adults as well as children will enjoy. I find the transformation from the flat, 2D coloring pages into critters that will move around a separate page captivating. Also included is the option to add one’s own details to a selection from the wonderfully illustrated, highly realistic insects and other bugs that children can choose from - thoughtful options I am quite fond of.
When ready, children can tap a button to bring their bugs to life, now being able to lead their bug around the page with the drag of a finger. The effect is really quite special, turning children’s work into a small, moving piece of art. I am also very fond of how children can save their projects, allowing them to go back and add to their work at any time.
Another area of this app allows children to trace simple bug-themed drawings as well as to add their own personal touches to a variety of colorful landscapes and backgrounds. There are a few arcade moments included as well as children have the choice to participate in the Bug Race section as speedy taps of one’s fingers will propel the player's bug against one of 13 other competitors as they tackle fun, tactile substances and interesting details like trekking through thick mud or high grass as well as running through part of a hollowed-out log - moments that made my son and I smile.
The Bug Valley section is a more serene yet still kinetic activity where children need to tilt their iPad as they maneuver their character - be it a dragonfly, bee, or butterfly - through gates made from dandelions; sightseeing along the way as children have the unique perspective of looking down at the tops of flowers seen in this landscape. I found it interesting that although my son had a handle on flying his airborne bug within Bug Valley, he has a more difficult time with the coordinated taps needed to propel his critters in The Bug Race, making this a valuable exercise as he works on his dexterity.
Children can play in the Playground area by exploring their surroundings, many of which will make fans of the other Bugs and Buttons apps smile as buttons, bottle caps, and other familiar trinkets can be found on the ground for the walking bugs to interact with. I also appreciate the abundance of naturally found materials such as rocks or flowers that these bugs need to navigate around as children look for other points of interest as well as collecting opal colored spheres along the way. Flyers will find themselves high above in the leaves of trees for related experiences searching for spheres as they explore this area.
Like the other apps before it, Bug Art is quite polished and includes new details and hidden surprises throughout that players will really enjoy finding. I am impressed equally by how vivid the bugs one creates become once brought to life, making Bug Art an easy app to recommend.