History Is A Circular Novel, So Is Rounds: Franklin Frog
Rounds: Franklin Frog ($0.99) by Nosy Crow is a cyclical story that relates the life cycle of frogs to a young audience.
The story is (at first) told about Franklin, your average frog trying to survive in this crazy world. Each page shows key parts of Franklin’s life.
Blue dots will appear on different elements to indicate touching them. For example, Franklin can use his tongue to gulp down the flies circling around him.
Left and right navigation arrows sit at the bottom of the screen, though they have to be tapped twice in order to activate. This is designed to prevent children from accidentally zipping through the pages each time the button is pressed.
What’s interesting about this story is that it literally could repeat forever. The story actually enters a loop once Franklin meets Felicity. After being born, Fraser becomes the new center of attention. After that, the story begins again, but with Fraser instead of Franklin. After that, it’s Fletcher. And so on.
Unfortunately, the only change in each repetition is the name (which eventually recycles back to Franklin).
There aren’t the bells and whistles of a built-in dictionary, bookmarks, or tapping other elements to see what they’re named, as you would expect to see from this genre. The Ocenhouse Media books, such as Horton Hatches the Egg illustrate this point (you can read more about my thoughts on book apps in my first installment of AppAdvice Jr.).
In addition to the lack of features, I also experienced some issues with the blue dots for indicating where to touch. The app didn’t seem too responsive when I touched the dots in the first place, and in addition to that, it was hard to tell how to activate some of the actions.
I didn’t know if I needed to tap the flies to activate Franklin’s tongue, or if I needed to swipe Franklin’s tongue to get the flies.
At $0.99, this is a decent price for the app, considering its limited interactivity. The app’s coolest feature is by far the cyclical storyline that relates a frog’s life.