ZapTales: Interactive Fairy Tales (by Big Fish Games) reminds me of the classic books that I loved reading as a kid, and some of the ones that I read to my own girls when they were little. I mean, what young girl doesn’t love a story about a princess capturing the heart of her Prince Charming? Even if it requires a life learning lesson and a slimy frog, which is the case in this classic (Grimm Brothers) fairytale, The Frog Prince. The Frog Prince is the Free story that comes in this FREE iPhone and iPad Books app series. The Frog Prince has 2 reading modes, along with an Autoplay function that allows the story to play nonstop, plenty of charming animations on every page, and engaging activities to keep your child’s attention throughout.
This iPad application has advertisements that run along the bottom of the screen initially, but are not present when you get into the storybook portion. ZapTales: Interactive Fairy Tales has colorful, pretty and appealing 2D graphics, and charming fairytale-esque music and sounds. The professional female narration is pleasant, but the Frog’s voice is a little gravely and strange — but not bad. The rest of the sounds throughout this iPad app are great. Big Fish Games has done a wonderful job of providing a nice reading and gaming experience, easy-to-use navigation and help opportunities everywhere. If at anytime you or your child are unsure of what to do, the developers provide you clear directions by tapping on the “?” icon (in the lower right) to clue you in. There’s even a pull-down tab at the top of the screen that allows you and your child to skip around to any random page within the application.
Along with telling the beloved fairytale story with great narration and animations, there are lots of interesting activities for your child to do. Not every page has an activity but those that do will have little icons that appear (in the upper right) to indicate that there’s an activity for that specific page. Within this ZapTales: Interactive Fairy Tales are 2 coloring opportunities, 2 puzzle type games, a sticker page (that lets kids put as many of the individual stickers on the page as they want, remove them, and take picture with the camera icon to save to the camera roll), and an opportunity to find all the collectibles (hearts?) in the story to unlock a game. This was the only activity that wasn’t super clear to me. As I went through each page, I stumbled upon hearts as I tapped around on each page so figured these must be the “collectibles” (and earned points for each), but you may have to hunt for them a bit since they are not in plain view.
There’s definitely a nice variety of activities for kids to enjoy in this iPad Books app, such as the castle jigsaw puzzle where kids will have a lot of fun dragging the pieces into place to complete. All I can say is — tap on everything in this iPad book to discover what will sparkle, twinkle, move or appear. Another worthy mention is the coloring page options, which is often an area that developer’s miss the mark in other children’s apps that I come across. This application gives your child the option to color with his or her finger (paintbrush), which will allow them to go outside the drawing lines, or the option to use the paint bucket icon to color in whole sections neatly, but what I really liked (especially for little ones), is the “Magic Color” feature that lets kids run their little hands or fingers over the picture and have it automatically color in beautifully and neatly exactly as it is in the storybook. I really like having a variety of option/choices because it allows for all types of coloring personalities. There are about 20 “paint” colors in the palette. The only important thing missing here is an undo button, but it’s not critical.
Not only does The Frog Prince iPad storybook deliver a classic story with a great life lesson, but Big Fish Games took just about every opportunity possible to make the user experience very enjoyable, starting with the Free price tag, sweet graphics, sounds and animations, professional narration, simple navigation, and just the right amount of fun activities to make this a quality download. And if you enjoyed this classic tale, you may want to purchase the 4 other classics in the ZapTales: Interactive Fairy Tales for $2.99 each, or unlock all for $8.99.
Zap Tales: Interactive Fairytales iPad App Download