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Guess Who! is a delightful interactive book that babies, toddlers and older children will enjoy.
This story is simple as the reader is asked what family member a baby resembles. Before each page is turned, a cutout can be seen on the right side of this storybook. Behind it is the face of an adult that children try to guess. It is super-cute how the baby in question is compared to what can be seen of the adult face to be fully revealed with the turn of a page, be it a character like mom, dad or grandpa.
Based on a printed book by illustrator Kyoung Kook Lee, this app for iPad does a great job of re-creating the feeling of reading a board book - one of the most realistic page turns I have seen in digital storybooks.
Hotspots have been included that kids will enjoy, nicely highlighted with a hand icon showing children where to touch. Another unique interaction is how readers can drag the cut-outs found among these pages to enlarge them slightly, seeing more details of the adult in question, giving kids the chance to peek at the family member - a nice touch that adds an element to this story not available in a traditionally bound story.
The illustrations are lovely works of an accomplished illustrator with a great sense of style that adults will appreciate as much as children will. The narration is nicely done as well, and although an accent is detectable, the audio track is easy to understand and follow along with - not always the case with applications developed outside the United States.
Some extras are included, such as a few short animated “sing along” videos of three songs, including “Guess Who,” which transforms this story into a song that children can sing along with, as the words are displayed on the screen, karaoke- style, as are the lyrics for the other two songs as well.
A matching game is also included where two characters are shown from this book, each including a missing detail that one must fill in from three objects to choose from. Do note that one can also change modes of this game, having to label these characters instead, such as “daddy” or “sister.” This section includes the same nice visual style and fun use of color, but it is a shame that this section only includes three questions, including two characters each. Maybe an area of this app could be added to in a future update.
This is an all-around lovely storybook that babies, toddlers and even older children will enjoy a great deal. My son, now four years old, had fun with this story book even though he is a little beyond this app's target age range.
Options here include listening to this book be read, reading this book to oneself, or making a recording of this book oneself to play back later. This app would also make a lovely first reader for children to read - possibly to younger family members. I would love to see more work from Kyoung Kook Lee in the future.
It would be nice to see this app be turned into a universal application in the future, making the current price point possibly more palatable for parents.
The name NCsoft will sound very familiar to many PC gamers. Most famous for its MMORPG creations, Lineage, Guild Wars and Aion, NCsoft has made the move into mobile gaming. Their first release has been released today to the App Store, and it's looking pretty impressive as well as utterly gorgeous.
Gem Keeper is its name and its a Tower Defense game. Players must strategically place towers in order to protect the all important magical Gems from the fearsome horde of monsters. Controls involve a sliding system in which players can move towers up and down rails in order to increase range as well as ensure players can manipulate attacks. This is all laid out to ensure that Gem Keeper isn't like all the other Tower Defense games. Players can't just sit back and watch having placed their defenses down as there's always something that needs doing. Players have to keep a close eye on everything due to the enemies being smarter than the average Tower Defense crony. These monsters can even evolve into lumbering boss monsters once they capture the Gems.
30 levels are offered alongside 3 different difficulty levels and 3 different themes. 14 varied and unique defense towers are possible to use against the 22 different enemy types.
It all sounds pretty intriguing to me and taking a look at the screenshots below clearly demonstrate just how beautiful Gem Keeper is. NCsoft has always been great at creating beautiful scenery in its PC games and it looks like a similar tale with this iOS release. Action looks a little frantic yet detailed, hopefully offering an ideal burst of creativity to a tried and tested formula.
Gem Keeper is out now priced at $2.99 and we'll be sure to offer a full review very soon.
For now, gaze longingly at the delightful screenshots below.