Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Sometimes it is hard not to become jaded as an app reviewer because there are times that it may seem as if many apps are rather familiar - making me wish for something unique, interesting or simply beautiful. Because of this, I am happy to have had the chance to review Petites Choses: an interactive app for young children that has a wonderfully crafted style, setting it apart from other apps seen in iTunes. Petites Choses is an app for small children that includes simple, unique mini-games that one discovers inside the included beautifully-illustrated cityscape that employs a serene use of color and a watercolor style that I greatly appreciate. As one scrolls though this city, children will be lead to the areas of this app that are to be explored - be it scenes found within the windows of a building as well as within the trees, taxis, flowers or umbrellas also seen within this urban landscape. I do love the look of this app - the hazy use of color and the clouds that hang over this city as well as the buildings that include a layered look that gives this city depth when scrolling through this landscape.
The mini-games are simplistic and full of whimsy, asking children to complete tasks that may include some degree of nonsense that will make their adults smile. A vintage-looking image of a pointing hand will clue players in on how to interact with each scene, such as tapping colorful birds to fly off a building’s antenna to help tune in this building's televisions in turn, creating a musical moment I found truly memorable. Music is an important part of this delightful app, as heard within a favorite scene involving clouds and the wind from a pinwheel, creating a lovely moment hard to describe with words alone. Other areas will ask children to gather flowers to be added to a bouquet as a gift for a woman, complete a piano-themed puzzle where neighboring buildings are used as piano keys, or a musical cars section that also needs to be seen to fully understand.
A memory-styled mini-game is also included, here asking one to match the colorful images one sees within the windows of a buildings that open and close with a tap. I appreciate discovering for myself the game that is being played as I explored this app for the first time. I would like to point out that within this app, a key is displayed for each activity before becoming completed and these keys are individually gained as these sections are resolved by the player, without any fanfare at the conclusion of each section. No cheering is heard; no badge is received. Children are allowed to play at their own pace throughout this app without distraction - issues that I have with so many apps these days that want to encourage game play with the use of achievements that I find can take away from the experience of the app itself. I do love the use of these keys, however, as early on one can see a bird in a cage from a window. A closer look reveals multiple colored locks to be opened by each earned key within. When the unlocking is complete, it triggers a very special animated scene - a terrific conclusion to this app and a lovely surprise for children who have completed each of these tasks. I hope that other developers will decide against digital stickers and instead produce an end-scene worth working towards.
Petites Choses is a perfectly realized piece of art delivered to young children as an application. The original music is equally pitch-perfect, including both classical influences as well as the intricate sounds of a music box, which create moments that children and adults alike will find even a little bit moving. Please note that this app also includes the short film that this application is based on. It is totally worth the purchase price to have access to this poetic short film, making this an app for lovers of animation - even without children to share this app with. It concerns me that Petites Choses may not become popular in iTunes among a sea of other choices for young children. This would be a great shame as Petites Choses is a simple, slowly paced and dreamy app for toddlers and preschool-aged children, but also for their adults as well. I do hope people take the time to check out Petites Choses as an early app for their children as I feel fortunate to have had a chance to review it, giving me a renewed sense of excitement when checking out new apps submissions.