I have some interesting news that I would like to share with readers. Toca Boca has recently acquired zinc Roe’s series of Tickle Tap apps.
As readers may know, Toca Boca is a favorite developer of mine, as are the Tickle Tap apps that were developed by zinc Roe a few years back. These Tickle Tap apps were some of the first apps I shared with my son, and they still are perennial favorites that have kept my son’s attention for all this time.
The joining of Toca Boca and the creative minds behind these Tickle Tap Apps has created a true dream team of app developers with the common bonds of highly stylized illustrations, bright and bold colors and whimsical details that produce very high expectations of what is to come from this new developer, Sago Sago.
Sago Sago’s new app is a re-working of one of my son's and my favorite apps, Sound Shaker, now known as the universal app Sago Mini Sound Box.
I must admit that as a huge fan of the original, it was a bit difficult to see an app that I felt married to become different from the app that I know and love, but Sago Mini Sound Box does not disappoint.
This app opens up with the choice of nice, different sounding choice of boxes that nicely demonstrate each of the unique sound choices offered, be it the soothing musical sounds of xylophone, flute, chimes, or piano or the more nonsensical sounds of vehicles honking, dogs barking, farm animals or a variety of novelty sound effects.
Once a choice has been made, simply tap on the screen to see a colorful, musical ball appear on the page. Unlike the original Sound Shaker where these dots can be held to change the note of the instrument chosen, traveling up the scale until the ball cracks open to reveal a bird flying out of what is now perceived to be a cracked open egg, these spheres will not change notes if one’s tap is held, but will instead break open to a number of different animated animals whom I presume will be re-occurring characters within these app - exciting for babies and toddlers, to be sure.
Different notes are still an important element of this app, however, as here, the blank page is broken up into note sections, allowing users to play the page like a piano of sorts, tapping on different areas of the page to make music - a detail not possible in the first application.
Children will also have a lot of fun dragging individual balls around the page, crashing into others for great physics-based animations and sound effects. This app is also a great choice for tilting the device around as this will move all the dots at once around the page much like gravity would affect balls within a glass container.
My favorite detail of this app is the new inclusion of multi-touch, now allowing multiple fingers to trigger interactions at once, be it creating multiple dots at once or dragging many fingers-worth of these fun shapes around the page. I also adore how the balls, if created with multi-touch, are now decorated with a variety of colors and patterns, much like Easter eggs, encouraging the sharing of this app with others as well as helping explore the dexterity needed to place multiple fingers from the same hand down on the page - more difficult for young children that using a single finger to trigger a tap or swipe.
Even the minute details included within, such as the confetti stars seen when balls collide into each other as well as the unique way each animal leaves the screen after cracking out of its dot are a testament to the high production value of this deceptively simple children’s app.
Even though this app was developed with children two years of age in mind, I can imagine younger children enjoying this app a great deal as a distraction as well as older children, possibly playing this app with a sibling as well as by themselves.
Although change is never easy for me, and I must admit I had a range of emotions about the old Tickle Tap apps being acquired and no longer available in their original form, I knew Toca Boca was a developer whom I could trust to do right by this series of children’s applications, and I was correct, now also exposing children who many not have known of the earlier Tickle Tap apps to these new Sago Sago apps.
Having been interested since Toca Boca’s first release, I am now also excited to see what Sago Sago will come up with next, and I do look forward to reviewing more of these apps here at GiggleApps in the future.