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The Outcast Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Nadia Oxford on August 22nd, 2014
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: HANDS OFF. WAY OFF.
It's easy to see what The Outcast is trying for, but its execution needs a lot of work.
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Johnny and the Doomsday Machine Review

By Lucy Ingram on November 28th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: DELIGHTFULLY EDUCATIONAL
Screenwriter David Titcher and Writeur Films release the first interactive story for iBooks - an enjoyable fictional adventure aimed at children of all ages.
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Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville Files Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on July 30th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SHORT BUT GRIPPING
With a Hound of the Baskervilles style storyline, Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville Files is a pretty appealing interactive story.
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Sorcery! Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on May 2nd, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: MYSTICAL EXPLORATION
Capturing the magic of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! novels, the game of the same name is a great addition for adventure game book fans.
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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!

Oceanhouse Media Releases the Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection #1 - Thing 2 Sure to Follow

Posted by Rob Rich on February 3rd, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Having spent a decent portion of my retail career involved in the children's section of a bookstore, I think I have a solid grasp of what makes for popular literature among parents and their children. There's always one or two "flavors of the week," but there are also those that always sell. Where the Wild Things Are. The Velveteen Rabbit. Virtually anything written by Mo Willems or Sandra Boynton. Sitting proudly at the top of this list are the works of the undisputed monarch of children's literature, Dr. Seuss.

Theodor Seuss Geisel's stories have been adapted for all manner of medium, not surprisingly including iOS. Oceanhouse Media has been offering special adaptations, referred to as "omBooks" for portable Apple devices for quite a while now. These special not-quite-ebooks allow users to flip through their virtual pages normally, have the stories read to them at a set pace (not unlike a movie) or a hybrid of the two that narrates while emphasizing key words.

While individual Seuss classics have been available in this form for quite some time, Oceanhouse has released their first-even multi-title collection. The Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection #1 features five of (arguably) his most well-known works: The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, The FOOT Book, Mr. Brown Can MOO! Can You? and Fox in Socks. Five classics, no waiting. Well, depending on one's WiFi speed, anyway.

This collection is on the App Store right now for $11.99. I know it may seem like a lot, but buying each of these omBooks individually would cost around $15 or so. And that's after the price drops in celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday. Anyone with an appreciation for all things Seuss should certainly check this out.

Asteriod Spacecraft Hayabusa Gets Her Own Interactive Book

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on January 2nd, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

In 2003, Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa traveled out to 25143 Itokawa, a small, near Earth asteroid, to retrieve samples ad return them to Earth. The spacecraft achieved its goals, returning in late 2005, gaining the honor of being the first spacecraft to successfully return samples from an asteroid.

Now, yes there's an app. Billed as a "sound novel," or "cinematic digital novel," Hayabusa tells the story of this historic spaceflight, using overly cute Japanese "kawaii" images to tell the story, personifying the spaceship as an adorable little girl. We're not sure why, but what the heck, it's Japanese, and therefore mysterious to us. See trailer below for further proof.

The app contains original background music and is universal, running natively on any iOS device with system 3.0 or later. In the App Store, Hayabusa is $0.99, perhaps a worthwhile price for a record of one of the more interesting recent stories of space flight?


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is Back on the App Store... and It's Hungry

Posted by Rob Rich on October 26th, 2011

I was working in a now-defunct bookstore when Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was released on an unsuspecting public. I don't have precise figures but I can say with certainty that the book sold like mad. It was a combination of a small publisher doing a somewhat limited run, and a level of consumer interest that not many predicted. People love Victorian zombies, apparently. Who knew?

A year after the novel's release, a side-scrolling game based on the twisted tale made its way on to the App Store. But Quirk Books isn't done with the iOS platform yet. Oh no. Not by a long shot. Now the literary "classic" has been given new life (*rimshot*) in the form of an illustrated, interactive eBook.

This isn't any regular old eBook, mind. It's full of interactive (and incredibly gory) illustrations and features an original score and sound effects. Sounds awesome, yes? Well there's more. Not only can users enjoy all manner of zombie-centric animated illustrations as they read this unexpectedly popular story, they can also read the entire original Austin text by flipping their device upside-down. Even more interesting (and excessive), tilting the device on its side will simultaneously display both the interactive zombie-infested re-imagining and the literary classic at the same time.

Anyone who might have held off on reading this most interesting interpretation, but still wants to, should definitely have a look-see at Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Interactive eBook. It's absolutely stuffed with content and at $4.99 (for a limited time) it's currently almost half of the physical tome's price.

Cause of Death Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Chris Hall on December 17th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GOOD READ
Interactive novels aren't the most exciting things for the ADD gaming generation, but Cause of Death is smart, quick, and fun.
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