Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
I am eager to let readers know about a new app, Who Lives in a Tree? - a thoughtfully developed app (with both English and Russian translations) all about the creatures who, as the name may suggest, reside in trees.
Oftentimes I review children’s apps and marvel at the technology being used, such as the use of 3D images or a physics engine. This is not one of those times, as instead, Who Lives in a Tree? stands out among a sea of other children’s apps with a style reminiscent to me of illustrations found in classic Golden Books - with a lush palette of greens, browns, and other colors found in nature with a timeless, almost period look that I am very fond of.
From simply opening this app and scrolling up or down the grand trees seen throughout, readers get to meet an eclectic bunch of creatures - from a mouse that lives at the base of the tree to a mole who actually lives underground. There are other mammals as well, such as birds or insects, some of whose habitats extend to the high outer branches of the tree. Be it listening to the included narration or reading about animal facts to oneself, children will learn about each of these sixteen creatures in a most conversational way.
Remember to linger on each animal while in listening mode, as multiple facts for each critter are included that could be missed if one rushes from one creature to the next. If narration is silenced, a simple tap of each paragraph of text will forward to another fact for one’s reading pleasure. I admire the choice not only to give users a chance either to listen to or to read this information, but also to allow one to mute the included relaxing, jazzy music independently from the voiceover track.
Having removed both the music and spoken words, children will still not view this app in the disconcerting silence that I can actually find distracting in some apps. Instead, the quiet ambient sounds of the forest can be heard that translate to a silence that feels natural and organic to this arbor setting. Mild yet satisfying interactions are included as one can interact with each of these animals with a tap to see them move in ways most appropriate, often including personal sound effects for each character. The one element I found a little odd is that the scale among animals is not consistent, as here the ladybug looks almost the same size of some of the birds featured, but this issue is understandable because if the sizes were in proportion to each other some of the bugs or spiders would be too small to appreciate.
I have really enjoyed testing and reviewing Who Lives in a Tree? as every detail that has been included, from the illustrations, music, and sound effects to the facts covered within and the quality of narration, is top-notch in every way that also bolsters the vague vintage qualities this app offers. I also appreciate that, although links to their other apps are included, they are hidden and locked away from children - something parents will approve of. It's nice to have options as well, with both a lite version of this app that can be unlocked with an IAP and a full version that one can purchase outright - which is my preferred method of downloading apps and a choice that I value having.
Who Lives in a Tree? is an app that all ages will be fond of as well as learn from. The level of quality workmanship is evident at first glance and continues to the last animal, making this an app that I highly recommend.