Otzi - App for Kids - Play & Learn is an interesting universal app which introduces children to Otzi the Iceman, a mummified man found frozen in a glacier in the Otztal Alps, near the border of Austria and Italy.
This interactive app is nicely intuitive with different sections to choose from such as how Otzi was found in the ice, allowing children to swipe with a finger to help find his body as well as including a close-up of Otzi in a museum setting, also nicely showing what he presumably looked like when alive, which I found quite interesting.
The protective clothing he wore is also touched upon here, as users can dress Otzi as well as read about the clothing offered, such as the material used.
Be aware that close-up images of this mummified man are included after discovering him in the ice as well as in a tattoo section which allows children to use a magnifier to see the tattoos and other details of Otzi’s body. I think the educational value of this app is great, but I must admit I was momentarily taken aback by the close-up viewing of this ancient dead body, making this possibly not an app for all families. I would not, however, hesitate to show this app to my son when he is a little older, knowing that I will need to further explain what he is looking at and the causes of Otzi’s death a very, very, long time ago.
An “Insights” section is included which discusses possessions Otzi would have found important, such as a birch bark container to transport embers to light new fires with ease, as well as his dagger, used often in a multitude of ways, or even the use of a fungus found on birch - the birch polypore that can be used as first-aid to stop bleeding as well as an antibiotic - a detail from Otzi’s world that I found most fascinating. Also of interest is the “cold cell” used to further preserve Otzi.
Those with a camera on their device can also take a photo of a face that will be added to the illustrated body of an iceman such as Otzi, offering both a frozen icy backdrop as well as a more temperate landscape. It is worth noting that this app while using my iPad 1 without a camera crashed when I tried to use this photo function, an issue that I hope can be worked out in the future, possibly removing this section from devices that will not support picture taking instead of the app closing abruptly.
Developed in collaboration with the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, this app contains a nice amount of information with German, Italian and English languages offered, as well as being able to mute wonderfully atmospheric music and sound effects if one so chooses.
As this app is without narration, children will need to be able to read this text themselves or with the help of an adult - not as issue as this app is geared toward children 7-10 years old. Even with this age range given, I do think younger children as well can get a lot from this app if they are ready to view the mummified remains of Otzi.
I have enjoyed this app about Otzi, and without this application, it is doubtful that children would have such a close up view of this Iceman, also giving children topics that they can research further themselves.