Version Reviewed: 1.0.5
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Having reviewed many apps for children and families, I am on a special lookout for applications that I find truly beautiful to look at - making them desirable choices to share with young children who may be getting very limited screen time. Kapu Forest, with versions for both iPad as well as iPhone, is such an application that will delight the youngest app users as well as their families.
At first glance, adults will be quite pleased with a rich palette of blues, greens, and browns, as well as a thoughtful use of sophisticated jazz music that real keeps in mind the needs of the adults who will most likely be spending time sharing apps alongside their young children. There is a non-specific vintage quality to the look of this app that I find utterly appealing, making it stand out among a sea of other applications.
As the name many describe, Kapu Forest allows children to interact with animals as players scroll through the forest looking for their favorite creature to help in various ways. This may take the form of helping a woodpecker make a hole in a tree, aiding a red fox who would love some help eating raspberries, or befriending a squirrel who is quite fond of pine cones. Each of these twelve areas is nicely intuitive yet includes details that adults will enjoy pointing out to their children, such as the pollen seen within the flowers that bees visit to make honey or the need to help the frog collect the larger, closer flies with his tongue.
A few maze areas exist, including a mole looking to maneuver into her underground home or a ladybug looking for a hand in crossing a body of water, each allowing one tilt of the iPad to move the creature along as well as assisting with the drag of a finger. Color sorting is touched upon here as one has a chance to sort brightly colored mushrooms into baskets as well as including a puzzle theme involving a beaver dam, complete with wonderful percussive sound effects of the beaver thumping his tail in gratitude after chunky geometric shapes have been fitted into their corresponding holes.
My only note is that my favorite activity of tapping fireflies, which allows their collective light to illuminate both sleeping as well as alert nocturnal animals, is included within the middle of the scrollable forest instead of saved for the last section of this app. This section, compete with its own special lullaby-like music, would make a lovely conclusion - encouraging children who may use this app to unwind before bed or a nap, creating a lovely end point.
Likewise, I would love the special tune heard here to play out a few beats longer before bringing players back to the main forest area. Aside from this minor note, I can easily see Kapu Forest becoming a favorite application to share with toddlers and young preschool-aged children. Parents rightfully may be cautious about the screen time their children partake in, but adults will have no guilty feelings sharing an app that looks and sounds as beautiful as this.