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Review: Animalia - The Classic Alphabet Book Now Interactive

Review: Animalia - The Classic Alphabet Book Now Interactive

September 15, 2010


The alphabetic book Animalia, by Graeme Base, with artful representations of animals and other items for each letter is now available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Now every page of the book is in digital form, and you're given a hidden object game to go with it. You also get to find the little boy Graeme in brand new places as he moves about each time you find him.


There are three game modes included on top of just the book itself. The first mode is explore Animalia where you’re given the task of finding four items for each page. Then there is the find Graeme mode where you need to find him three different times per letter with each one scored based on time taken. Finally there is what in the world mode where you're given a silhouette with no particular page so you have to find the right letter and page, and then the item.

The Good

The amazingly beautiful artwork of Animalia is now on a digital interface with extreme high resolution versions. This is a great book for young and old to scour the detailed images trying to put a name to all you can find for that particular letter. Every image is an overload of items, and with the high resolution you can zoom way in with no loss of quality, and see some things you've never seen before if you own the hardback. The book itself in digital form is worth the price, but then you're given three interactive game modes. Going through each page looking for the four given items is a nice challenge, and a fun way to go through the book. Then finding Graeme is a nice challenge as he hides well each of the three times per page, plus it's timed. Finally the what in the world mode is an extremely challenging mode that can only be completed by identifying the item's name so you can go to the right page. Or perhaps looking at the images enough you remember seeing that item on a particular page. Once you complete each mode you unlock a special reward for your computer which is nice added bonus if the fun of the chase isn't enough. When you first start the app, the book comes to life with various sounds for each of the main animals for each page. When you find an item it makes a sound for that item further immersing you in the world of Animalia.

The Bad

The only critique I have is that there are only four items given to find per page. Even when you reset you're still finding the same four items despite so many different available items per page. It would be great to unlock four new items when you find the first set just as an optional challenge. The book though isn't just about finding what your told to find. It's about discovering and figuring out what each item is in the ornate images.

The Verdict

Animalia has been a great hardback book for the last twenty years, and is even better in its new digital form. Now the same great book has even more deluxe images to truly see the finite detail, and there are brand new touch based interactive features. This app really shows how the iPad can reinvent and provide brand new interest in a classic book. For only $3.99 Animalia is an absolute steal on the iPad that is great for young and old alike that will make you appreciate your iPad more. Do yourself a favor and explore Animalia. *The iPhone version, even on retina display, is just too cramped never letting you see the whole image in much detail. You have to zoom way in, and scroll around losing the impact of the images at full scale. 'Watch the author Graeme Base discuss the app below.

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