Developer: LivoBooks
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.3
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Vampire-Kids Story Book – scary and fun storytelling – is a playful take on the day in the life of a vampire, Vlad Von Splatter, in this interactive storybook for iPad and iPhone.

colorI am very happy to see Splatter styled as a traditional Nosferatu vampire – a detail that adults will appreciate possibly more than their children will. There is a nice amount of interactivity, including being able to personalize this book by inscribing one’s name in “blood” as well as interacting in activities that help children get to know Splatter; such as petting his meat-eating venus flytrap-type plant for a startling effect that older children may enjoy – a moment that is startling at first as a tap will trigger the plant taking a bite out of the player and includes a severed finger that then can be dragged around the page – a moment that made me smile.

Children will also have a chance to work on a puzzle based on the Mona Lisa that will in-turn also reveal a creepy surprise. Other moments include a scene where one experiments in a laboratory setting, an arcade styled mini-game involving a hairy scorpion infestation, and a chance to add vampire features to a chosen face within this app, be it the player or a friend using the front or rear-facing camera.

B:WMy favorite part of this app is when Splatter gets ready to watch TV as this includes a short animated film within this app that is really something special. The look of this film is a delightful nod to the moody black and white look of German Expressionism, especially the 1922 film, Noseferatu, on which this character is based – here under assault by another blood sucker: a mosquito. I find the level of film details such as scratches and skips that can be seen impressive – subtle details that add richness without being over-the-top. I also admire the ability to view this film directly as well as a P.O.V. of seeing this short from within the television screen, but it would have been nice to be able to pause the short as well.

It is worth noting that this app has been rated 9+ for scary content. I do agree that Vampire-Kids Story Book may be too intense for some younger, sensitive children, but I think that some kids younger than the target age of 9-11 years could enjoy this app – especially the wonderfully crafted animated sequence.

Although there are a few surprising moments that kids could be taken aback by, I enjoy the tongue-in-cheek tone of this app, nicely mitigating the scary content.


Posted in: Art, Books, By Age Range, By App Feature, iPad Books, iPhone Apps and Games, Just For Fun, Parents and Kids, Primary School, Puzzle, Reading, Reviews, Stories

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