David and Goliath for the iPad (The MVP Edition) is a well-crafted storybook app with interactions that bring the traditional Biblical tale of the same name to life. This storybook can be read by oneself or listened to with the narration by baseball’s David Eckstein with an afterward by his wife, actress Ashley Eckstein. A version without this specific narration is also available.
The quality of this application is undeniable. Although I am not always a fan of computer-generated animations and the use of 3D effects, the look of this app is impressive, with vivid colors and a thoughtful use of pitch-perfect music that creates an incredibly rich experience. I love the details found throughout from the clouds in the sky and other details of nature as well as textures found within, seen in the tents used often-times as backdrops for these characters. There are also some interesting moments of silhouetting characters for a nice effect that I enjoy.
Some interactions are included, with these developers nicely showing restraint, keeping these hotspots to a minimum and in ways that add to this experience while never being distracting. It is nice that subtle hints are given in the form of text on the screen, cluing readers where to touch to trigger these interactions, but not all hotspots contain included clues, something that I do find awkward.
Goliath and King Saul have intriguing, stylized looks to them, but David himself looks a little too much like a ventriloquist's dummy for my personal taste.
I do enjoy the Afterward by Ashley Eckstein comparing her husband the narrator to the David in the story, explaining that her David too has shown great faith and perseverance as well as tremendous hard work gaining the skills and knowledge about this game from T-ball all the way up to adulthood, which allowed him to become successful.
It is worth nothing that the language within this app is told in a style familiar to that of other Bible stories - an element that will be a selling point to some families, but some children may find the language and style of storytelling difficult to understand.
I think this app would be best appreciated by kids with some experience with other Bible stories as without this background, many of the people and places will go over the heads of some children.
In no way is this a flaw of this app, nicely realized for the storybook that these developers set out to produce, and it is an application that will be valued greatly by some families.
David and Goliath has a great sense of style, excellent music, and is an adaptation of this classic story that many families will enjoy. Although not a professional voice talent, David Eckstein reads this story with conviction and does a good job with the narrated mode of this storybook.