The Black Cat – Edgar Allan Poe (Free) by BeeGang.com is an iPad-only interactive digital book that pulls you right into the pages of one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous stories. I would have paid more attention in my high school English literature class if required reading was like this app.
When you open the app, a black cat, missing an eye and dangling from a rope is staring right at you. The cat is not just dangling in image, but quite literally. He sways side-to-side as you tilt your iPad. This is just the beginning of the interactive adventure that awaits you within the pages.
Most of the 23 pages offer some type of additional feature that helps draw your imagination in. On the very first page, rain is pouring, a streetlamp is glowing and leaves are falling from the tree above. There are bottles for you to throw, cockroaches for you to squish, pages set ablaze, mysteriously appearing wall impressions and much more.
The art fits the mood perfectly for this book. Being that the story is very adult in nature it would have been silly to create a cartoon-like atmosphere with puzzles and music. Instead, the developers went to lengths to entertain you with eerie interactions, like an opening switchblade and a hanging noose.
Be warned: This app appears to be a freebie in iTunes and there is nothing in the summary that states that you have to purchase the full copy to read the entire story. It is not free. You can read up to the first eight pages without paying, but if you want to go further, you must pay $1.99 as an in-app purchase. People will give this app a poor review just because there is no mention of this in the summary. The developers would do themselves a lot of good to clarify, in big words, that the free version does not include the entire book.
Overall, this is an amazing way to read a classic tale of horror and suspense. Almost every page includes an interactive addition to draw your imagination deeper into the story and add a creepy element to the effect. Although the iTunes page shows it as free, this app is actually $1.99 for everything past the first eight pages. Do not let that deter you from downloading this book. It is worth every cent.