Developer: Rebelot
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
Storytelling/Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Intuitiveness Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Salis Escapes – Salisedine Episode 1 is a provocative storybook for pre-teens with interactive elements. At first glance one will notice the undeniably captivating artwork that alone would justify a download. This is the story of Salis: a teenage girl who, like the other humans in the high-concept story, has been enslaved by the Crystals and forced to work in the salt mines. Narrowly dodging disaster, Salis’ father escapes the salt flat. Can Salis do the same to find her freedom?

salis 8As one may expect, there are a lot of dark moments in Salisedine Episode 1 as we watch a montage of two images of Salis’ parents that ends with them becoming enslaved – heads shaven and forced to work in the salt mines, where they find “hell” after trying to make a life for their family. Be aware that this app is an abbreviated version of the book of the same name, which makes a lot of sense as Salisedine Episode 1 reads like a teaser or the companion to a novel possibly of a few hundred pages. Although I do find the character of Salis interesting and developed well within the confines of a picture book of few words, I would love to know more about her and the world in which she lives, wanting to venture deeper into this tale that I am not sure a storybook can fully tell.

Having made this note, I did enjoy reading Salisedine Episode 1; my mind would venture to mining for spice in Dune, along with other novels that overlap in nuance as well as elements of specific dark points within history, all of which I appreciate. This is what I bring to the table as a well-read and knowledgeable adult eager to make Salisedine Episode 1 work, but I do wonder if older kids without the same references will appreciate this digital adaptation in the same fashion.

salis 6It is also worth noting that this is Episode 1, presumably with an unknown number of books to come. Because it is a paid app, I do wonder how pricey it may become to purchase each of these installments. I have also noticed some glitches with this app while quickly moving between pages that I hope can be addressed soon.

Even with these notes, the illustrations within Salisedine Episode 1 are as beautiful as they are memorable, with a palette of rich, lush, dark colors and an interesting choice of using shades of white as hues of danger to create images that are powerful; thus making this app worth checking out. I would love to know more about this story, how the mutations came to be as well as how the humans became enslaved, as it leaves readers with many more questions than answers and the story feels not fully realized. The quality of the artwork, however, makes it worthy of at least checking out as an interesting app that will make people curious about the complete version of Salis Escapes – be it in book form as well as a modern opera.

Posted in: Art, Creativity, For Parents, High School +, iPad Apps and Games, iPad Books, iPad Education, Language, Middle School, Parents and Kids, Reading, Reviews, Social, Stories

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