Fierce Grey Mouse HD is a delightful interactive story about a grey mouse who wants to be fierce like a wild animal. It is simply delightful to watch this mouse practice his fierceness - the roaring, and the pouncing, along with the exercising and healthy eating habits that it takes to grow big and strong. The only pitfall is that all grand, fierce gestures have scared his friends, and now there is nobody to play with. Rest assured; all ends well in this charming story that kids will enjoy, and maybe even relate to. Versions are available for both iPhone as well as iPad.
The artwork in this application is simply beautiful, with a wonderful collage feel as the characters here are cut out from other paper and added to the painted background, bringing a richly textured collage feel to an application. The backgrounds used for these pages are bright and bold, with an artful spattering of paints that bring a sense of style to these pages that I appreciate. Black and white drawings are also included of the beasts that this grey mouse is trying to emulate, ultimately frightening his friends in the process.
The use of these varied media for the illustrations is extremely effective, and when an animal is tapped, its movements really pop with an interesting dichotomy of hand- made art and interactions that are found in applications. I really have had a lot of fun exploring this app with my son who has really enjoyed tapping all the hot spots, complete with great sound effects as well.
This story is really dear to me as my son has chosen to be “fierce” in his own way, with unintended consequences of his own. At 3.5 years, my son still sometimes fancies himself a puppy, “jumping up” onto me and licking my face or neck - behavior I fine nowhere as cute as he does. Other times, he pretends to be similar animals, which may fulfill some kind of fantasy of his, but unfortunately makes him a less desirable playmate as his puppy-like behavior can be dangerous and even a little scary to be on the receiving end of, luckily subjecting only the adults in his life to these actions and not other children.
I like that the grey mouse learns that behaving less than kind to his friends can leave him lonely, but that this lesson learned is overshadowed by a happy ending with grey mouse redeeming himself in the eyes of his buddies.
Extras are also included that kids will enjoy as well. I like that not only a classic memory game is included where the player turns over cards looking for pairs, but a second version is also available, here with the cards face up as the matching is the focus here, not memorizing the positions of various combinations. It is also nicely styled as to how multiple cards use the same characters with varied poses; one must look closely to create pairs. A coloring book is also included, using the “paint bucket” technique to fill in the areas to be colored with the tap of a finger, no need to worry about drawing with a finger outside the lines or about making mistakes. This “paint bucket” style coloring is my personal favorite as my son is still not great with small details.
The quality of this application, the story, artwork, and sound effects are universally excellent. There is another interesting element included, giving the reader a choice of fonts to be used for the story. Choice include the use of paper cut-outs per each word or sometimes syllables found in the text, adding to the richness of the multi media and collage effect found throughout this app, much like the style used in ransom notes to avoid handwriting analyses. Another font selection, an easy-to-read, hand-written styled choice is also included that one can choose if the cut-out font is difficult to read - a nice inclusion for younger children. English, as well as Dutch and Spanish languages are included within this application, as well as a table of contents, something I always appreciate.
This is a lovely app that kids and parents will enjoy. It has a great, teachable message about socialization that both typically developed, as well as special needs children can learn from. I highly recommend this application.