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Choose Your Own Adventure Books Hoping To Come To iOS (With Your Help)

Posted by Jennifer Allen on August 21st, 2012

Lately, there seems to be a Kickstarter project for everything imaginable. One new exciting project is Underground Kingdom.

The project aims to adapt the work of author Edward Packard, namely his Choose Your Own Adventure books made popular in the 1970s. These books have proved very important to many in the past, myself included, both encouraging literacy and demonstrating how much fun reading can be.

Much like the work of Tin Man Games, Choose Your Own Adventure books are all about taking part in an interactive story and making decisions that lead to many different inclusions.

Underground Kingdom isn't quite under way yet, hence the Kickstarter project. While I for one greatly encourage getting involved with backing the project, we thought it only right to check in with co-founder and project director Felipe Mingo and creator of the Choose Your Own Adventure books Edward Packard and see how they feel about things.

We asked Felipe about the motivation behind bringing back this series of books.

"In (our) search for an app idea," he explained, "we remembered the Choose Your Own Adventure series. We really loved these books as kids, and thought that it would be great to transport the concept of "gamebooks" to digital. When we looked for digital versions, we didn't find any quality apps that would deliver a great experience. We wanted something different, with contemporary artwork, interaction, a map to guide your path... That's when we decided to start working on it and contacted Edward, who was really helpful and licensed us some of his books."

Asking whether the books, starting with Underground Kingdom, will be original conversions or if there will be any adjustments, Felipe explained that "The adaptations of the story are completely original from Edward Packard books. We made some minor changes to the text so it would adapt to today's technology. The artwork is totally new." As you can see from the artwork below, it's pretty glorious to look at and a great re-imagining of the original's style.

Edward Packard explained to us that he believes the "imaginative color art and animations...greatly enrich the adventurous experience" while also stating that he's "delighted, and especially so about delivering them in app form," as well as the "added interactive features [and] sound effects".

While the project is still in the early stages, Visual Baker provided us with some examples of concept art and how the devs there plan to incorporate the feel of Choose Your Own Adventure books into app form. It's looking pretty great, so far.

If you're keen on backing the Kickstarter, check out the Underground Kingdom project page for details of pledge amounts available.

Strange Loves 1: Vampire Boyfriends Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on August 17th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar ::
A bright idea for an interactive story but one that doesn't quite hit the spot, unless you're a teenager.
Read The Full Review »

ComiXology Launches Simpsons Comics App

Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 16th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The hugely popular The Simpsons Bongo Comics have made their way to the iPhone and iPad, with an official app just released.

Simpsons Comics comes from the masters of all things iOS comic book related, ComiXology.

Much like ComiXology's other apps, the initial download is free with new issues of The Simpsons based comics available, priced between $1.99 and $3.99. Recent and classic Bongo titles are included such as Simpsons Comics, Bart Simpson and Radioactive Man.

New Bongo comics will be available for purchase through the app within a month of their physical publication, with readers able to buy and download at least two digital releases a week, if they so wish.

Recommendations will also be available after finishing each comic book, so it's an ideal way to steer new readers in the right direction for plenty of fun with Homer and the family.

Simpsons Comics is available now and it's an Universal app.

Assassin’s Creed The Fall: A New Perspective For The Series

Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 13th, 2012
iPad App - Designed for iPad

The Assassin's Creed franchise has been phenemonally successful since the release of the first game in the series 5 years ago. It has spawned numerous new games, for PC, console and iOS, novelizations and even the rumor of a forthcoming movie. The tales of Ezio Auditore have now spawned a spin-off comic book in the form of new app Assassin’s Creed The Fall.

Assassin’s Creed The Fall follows the story of assassin Nikolai Orelov, providing a completely different look into the Assassin's Creed Universe. The stunning artwork and writing comes courtesy of DC Comics artists Karl Kerschl and Cameron Stewart so readers are guaranteed quality throughout. With easy to browse navigation designed specifically for the iPad, it should prove to be a great hit for comic book fans and fans of the game series.

Assassin’s Creed The Fall is out now and priced at $0.99 for the first past. The subsequent two parts are purchasable for $2.99.

Discover A Palace On Rails With The Magnificent Travelling Palace

Posted by Jennifer Allen on June 13th, 2012
iPad App - Designed for iPad

Storytelling is a great way of teaching kids things about other cultures, while still making them feel as if they're having fun rather than just learning stuff. The Magnificent Travelling Palace is one such app that both educates and entertains.

The app follows a magical adventure story through the eyes of four children. Throughout the tale, the book embraces the splendour of Indian culture while remaining fun for kids. It comes with a recipe for an Indian dessert as well as interactive elements allowing kids to join in with the storytelling experience.

Visually, children can enjoy the 26 3D computer illustrations and animations, while their ears will enjoy the delightful musical score.

Created by a mother who knows what it's like, The Magnificent Travelling Palace should prove a fun yet educational app for every keen young reader.

The Magnificent Travelling Palace is out now for the iPad and priced at $1.99.

Get the app here.

Put Your Child In The Story With It's Me! Peter Pan

Posted by Jennifer Allen on May 21st, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Parents know that the iPad is a fantastic resource of storybook style apps, ideal for young children. They've probably already read the tale of Peter Pan to their kids, either through an app or through a traditonal book. So what makes It's Me! Peter Pan stand out? It allows kids to get right inside the action.

Parents are able to customize the app to use photos of their child's face to replace Peter's, thus throwing them right into the story.

It's Me! Peter Pan continues the fun theme with the addition of child friendly puzzles and the ability to explore Neverland by touching and tapping on various objects and characters scattered around the story. The ability to paint and color in images rounds off the package.

It all makes for a cute and beguiling tale that should entertain many a young child.

It's Me! Peter Pan is out now with a free version to try and the full app available for $3.99 via an in-app purchase.

Kick-Off Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jennifer Allen on May 15th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: INTERESTING
An enjoyable history of soccer but with limited interactivity.
Read The Full Review »

iPoe - The Interactive and Illustrated Edgar Allan Poe Collection is Ready to Spook Unwary iOS Users

Posted by Rob Rich on May 14th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Once upon a Friday evening, as I sat here, email reading,
Over a many quaint and curious letter of reviews implored,
While I perused, nearly napping, all the while my fingers clacking,
Pausing not their steady tapping, tapping on my old keyboard.
“ ‘Tis a slow night,” I muttered, “little use for my keyboard;
Only spam, and nothing more.”

Deep into my malaise drifting, long I sat there, fading, staring
Doubting, seeking apps few mortals ever dared download before;
Then my boredom was disbanded, by the news of an app branded,
A collection handed to a more than willing App Store.
I noticed when I checked the store. And I found, it offered more.

Not content with mere wording, these three stories feature moving,
Not just moving but reacting, with a touch we’ve seen before.
The Tell-Tale Heart,” said I, “has piqued my interest.
“As has The Oval Portrait and The Masque of the Red Death.
Let’s see if interaction makes them better, better than they were before.”

iPoe, with interactive stories, still is sitting, still is sitting
Lurking in the category for books found on the App Store;
And we all can start the reading of this dark and twisted dreaming.
And the price is of a number that in dollars orbits four ($3.99);
And my goal for this here story has been met with much fervor
Download it from---The App Store!

This Week at 148Apps: April 2-6

Posted by Chris Kirby on April 9th, 2012

This week at 148Apps.com, everything was hopping in celebration of Easter weekend. We started with Jennifer Allen's Five for Friday feature, showcasing an array of Easter-themed apps. Allen writes, "Happy Easter folks. No matter how you may celebrate it, and whether you do or not, we’ve got some fun Easter themed apps and games to cover in this week’s Five For Friday. Much like the event itself, the apps are a little geared towards families but there’s still fun to be had for all."

Read the overview of all five apps on 148Apps.com.

Jennifer Allen has also compiled a comprehensive list of apps on sale this Easter weekend. Grab 'em while they are cheap! Read the full list at 148Apps.com.

Meanwhile, Amy Solomon from GiggleApps reviewed a new interactive children's book - Nedi the Yeti. Solomon says, "Nedi the Yeti would make a great first app for babies and toddlers as the animals are friendly looking and engaging as well as not so well hidden that children of all ages could not find these creatures with ease, as a drag of a finger will coax these animals from their hiding places and a tap will trigger a speech bubble and a fun animal sound, be it either cartoony or realistic as is the case of the included bird or owl sounds found within."

Read the rest of the review at GiggleApps.

Finally, 148Apps.biz writer Kevin Stout explored ways for developers to acquire new users for their apps. Stout says, "Getting recognition and acquiring new users for mobile apps has gotten harder and harder as the app ecosystem has grown. This week, at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit 2012, strategy was discussed about the rising cost of user acquisition by three people close to the issue: Gabriel Leydon, chief executive of Machine Zone (free MMO developer of iMob and Original Gangstaz), Maria Alegre, CEO of Chartboost (app promotion solution), and Chris Akhavan, VP and GM of Strategic Partnerships at Tapjoy (app discovery and sharing platform)."

Read more about the VentureBeat Mobile Summit at 148Apps.biz.

Thanks for another great week! If you want to keep track of the latest reviews, news and contests, there's a great way to do it - just follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook. It's just that easy - promise! See you next week, law-abiding citizen!

Compendium App For Fans Of Vampire Academy Author Richelle Mead Arrives

Posted by Jennifer Allen on March 6th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The supernatural and vampires, in particular, are big business in the world of literature and cinema at the moment. One of the most popular authors in the field is that of Richelle Mead, famed for the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines novels. iOS users now get to delve even further into that world via the official app, The World of Richelle Mead, that's just hit the store.

The World of Richelle Mead is a free app that allows users to connect with other fans around the world, while also staying up to date with all the latest news about the author. Exclusive content is provided such as behind the scenes notes and stories, photos and illustrations, plus a great video library of Richelle Mead's past interviews.

An interactive character map, catering both for new readers and avid fans goes one step further to making the app an essential addition. There's also the possibility of buying the six ebooks in the Vampire Academy series through the app, and previewing some of the content beforehand.

For those who live Richelle Mead's writing, or who think they might learn to adore it, this is a great app to try. The World of Richelle Mead is out now for both iPhone and iPad, and it's free.

Elmore Leonard App Comes To iOS

Posted by Jennifer Allen on January 20th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Renowned author Elmore Leonard has written over 40 books in his time with many of them being adapted to the big screen and also the small screen in the case of critically acclaimed drama series Justified. So it's probably about time that he also gets his own app.

The app, originally entitled Elmore Leonard, is a fun and free companion for fans of the author. There's an excerpt of his latest novel, Raylan, following the experiences of US Marshal Raylan Givens, as well as synopsises of all his other books. A videos section is available for both Leonard and Justified, along with photos from the TV show and other bits and pieces for the fan to take in and enjoy.

It's an app that's bound to hook crime writing fans in, especially if they want some great insider information on the new season of Justified.

Elmore Leonard is out now and it's a free download.

Legion of the Damned Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Kevin Stout on January 19th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: COMPLETE
Legion of the Damned is a fully-featured turn-based strategy game. But a finite number of turns and repetitive storyline may turn a nice chunk of potential players away.
Read The Full Review »

Master Your DSLR Camera Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on December 20th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ESSENTIAL
The ideal companion app for new owners of DSLR cameras.
Read The Full Review »

The Blues Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on December 14th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: INTERESTING
A fascinating story, disrupted by slow controls.
Read The Full Review »

Nancy Drew: Shadow Ranch Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jennifer Allen on December 7th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ENCOURAGING
Combining gaming with reading, kids get the perfect opportunity to catch up on Nancy Drew's adventures.
Read The Full Review »