Talking ABC... is a delightful alphabet app which includes charming and impressive claymation animals that will engage adults and children alike.
I do love this kind of animation, so I was eager to see the claymation included within, and I can say that these bright and quirky animal creatures do not disappoint, as an estimated 770 pounds of clay was used to create the animals and letters - impressive to say the least.
As one may expect, there is a main section of this app which includes 26 letters, each with its own corresponding animal seen to the left of the screen.
I enjoy tapping these letters a great deal - first to see the letter formed in clay, then to morph back into a ball and then to form into a creature full of whimsy, also including mild yet wonderfully effective animation.
Another tap will again convert this animal back into a clay ball to be formed into the letter. Options include listening to the letter names or phonic sounds as well as being given a collection of animal choices instead of letter choices to select from.
These letters and animals can also be explored in Auto Play, turning this area into a sing-songy experience as one is introduced to these creatures along with music watched much like a video.
A collection of games is also included where one has a chance to explore four sections.
Letters is an activity where children are asked to identify with a tap the correct letter - be it by name or phonic sound - one of six letters to choose from. A wrong letter will squish the letter in question into a ball whereas the correct letter will convert to the related animal.
The Animal area is much the same, here asking children to choose the correct animal from a group of six seen on the screen, with wrong answers ending in the animals being squeezed into clay balls - an element I find highly satisfying.
Funny Words allows children to spell out a favorite word or name to then see it spelled out with clay letters for a nice effect.
A puzzle section also exists that includes a series of animals, each broken up into a series of squares that needs to be tapped to rotate until these pieces come together to make up a completed creature. Both Easy as well as a Normal difficulty are included - great for children who will find these puzzles interesting and a little challenging but without frustration.
There is much to appreciate within this app as the claymation animals are wonderful, with just the right amount of animated details that I am smitten with.
A few unique animals are included such as a newt playing with a pinwheel. There are also a vicuna, xiphias and yeti used to represent their related letters, avoiding the more common animals usually included in apps such as this.
I really appreciate that the raw moments of sculpting such as fingerprints are included, showing the process of turning a lump of clay into such wonderful silly creatures, each with its own unique movements.
I give a lot of credit to the use of lighting within this app, especially how the included letters are lit to make the most of being three-dimensional objects as opposed to being flat. Colorful backgrounds are also used among these pages that also include geometric shapes such as diamonds or triangles which float across the page behind the letter or animal in question, adding to the visual interest of this app.
It is also charming how one can record one's own voice within the main section of this app, making it seem as if any chosen animal is repeating what words or phrases that have been recorded by the user, and I do enjoy how the animals move their mouths during playback for a delightful lip-sync effect. Also interesting is how the pitch of the added narration is altered to make the child sound silly - a delightful touch.
I mention this function here as this app does not make note of this detail except as a setting where it can easily be missed. I read about this detail through iTunes as a recent update - a delightful inclusion that I fear many will miss without this element being mentioned within the app itself.
Even with this note, there is a great deal to enjoy with Talking ABC... . I would also love to see more claymation from the developers at Jutiful in the future.