Price: FREE ($3.99 to unlock full app)
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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The first fully animated comic book for the iPad, Niko and the Sword of Light is quite the delight. It tells a fun story and backs it up with some stunning visuals and great voice work.
Telling the story of Niko, a boy who seeks out a way in which to restore his land's freedom, Niko and the Sword of Light is the kind of adventure that can be read by young and old alike. Even better, read it with the family - it's that kind of tale. Headphones are recommended and for good reason, but little of the atmosphere is lost by gathering around an iPad as a group.
The story is divided up into a series of chapters, with the first three chapters available for free. That's enough to get a real taste for the comic book and I've no doubt that many will be keen to dive in for more.
The real standout feature here is the animation. It's so well done, easily fitting into the theme of the story and bringing everything suitably to life. Alongside that, the dialogue and music add to the atmosphere well, although I was a little disappointed to see that the subtitles on offer didn't include all the lines of dialogue. Something to bear in mind for any hearing-impaired comic book fans.
Controls wise, it's also not quite perfect. Swipes and taps dictate progressing through the book, but there's no way of setting the app to auto-progress, with taps occasionally detracting from just enjoying the experience. Other than that, it's all quite straightforward.
Fortunately such things don't matter much overall given that Niko and the Sword of Light's story is grand enough to captivate. It's a great example of what can be done with the comic book form, and something that I'm very keen to see more of in the future.