Monsters & Mutants, as the name may suggest, is an informative application for iPad that includes the stories behind some of the world's best known monsters and mutants, along with other fun information.
This app for iPad contains 20 creatures, each colorfully illustrated with lots of details that fans will enjoy. Without narration, this is an encyclopedic app that will require reading skills of either the app user or an adult to help read this text out loud.
I am impressed with the content of this app, nicely re-telling the stories that have made these scary subjects part of pop culture.
It is nice that readers tap to hear the noises these creatures make, as well as quizzing themselves on the correct size of these subjects, allowing readers to scale both adult male and monster images to see how correct they can get in terms of relative size in this interesting interactive application.
Where in the World is another interactive section allowing one to pinpoint sightings of these monsters with surprising accuracy - thanks to Google maps.
A gallery of images that demonstrates the story being told includes a monster close-up, also allowing one to create a coloring page as well as the use of the AirPrint. Some fun Did You Know? facts are also available.
There are a few ways to arrange the icons that each represents a character from this app, either in a grid or spread into a circle, randomly across the screen or in a pile. From here, one can move these images around the screen, further sorting if one is interested, creating a nice trading card feel that I appreciate. One can also re-size these icons, with small, medium and large choices if one so desires.
These beasts can also be grouped in a number of ways, such as their origins around the globe or type of creature, such as Mythological Monsters, Modern Monsters, Ancient Legends and Folklore and Movie Monsters. One can also rate these characters, splitting up and organizing these monsters this way as well.
The organizing by sub-categories is a good idea, but it is unfortunate that the an important aspect of crypto zoology was left out of the “Modern Monsters” section as these creatures such as Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster or the Jersey Devil are interesting and important because their differentiation between fact or fiction has never been truly proven or disproven.
Developers may also want to change the chupacabra’s category from Ancient Legends and Folklore to Modern Monsters, as this blood-thirsty creature is described as a “modern menace of the Americas,” having first been described in 1995. Japan’s Oni, Western Europe's Kraken and the Native American Thunderbird should possibly be best moved from mythology to Ancient Legends and Folklore as well.
I have also found that tapping on these monster icons in the interest of exploring these creatures further is sometimes unresponsive - something that I hope can be worked out in a future update.
Even with these issues, I have really enjoyed reading about these creatures. This is an app that I would have enjoyed this app a great deal in grade school and middle school, as this app will be a hit with fans of this subject matter.
It may be worth pointing out that some of the stories re-told about certain characters, such as the Reptoid Alien are rather disturbing if taken literally. I mean this is a good way, of course, in terms of the children who will naturally gravitate toward this application, but this app may be too intense for younger children, so my son will have to be older before I can share this app with him.
If interested, apps focused on vampires and dragons are also available from this developer, please check out iTunes for more information.