Friday, 13 January 2012

Jack and the Beanstalk iPad / iPhone app Review

One of Ben's favourite iPad / iPhone apps has got to be Jack and the Beanstalk by Mindshapes. This app is a fantastic, modern adaptation of the well known and loved children's story, Jack and the Beanstalk. It is engaging and highly interactive throughout which is sure to keep young children interested while both reading and playing along.

A Modern Twist on the Story
When you load the app you meet Jack who is playing computer games and dreaming of slaying monsters while his mum slaves away in the kitchen. Once the text is read, an arrow appears in the corner to enable you to turn the page. There are many fun interactive features on screen with bubbles to burst (which Ben loves) and clothes and dishes to tap to put away amongst other things. As you advance through the app the story sees Jack selling Betsy the Cow for magic beans. These magic beans allow kids to discover the basic principles of physics by bouncing the beans about the place and watching them collide and fall according to gravity. More of Ben's favourite interactive parts includes tapping the cloud to make the rain fall which causes the giant beanstalk to grow overnight and transforming Jack into "The Jack-Attack" by selecting his outfit and then helping him fly to the top of the stalk which is done by tilting the iPad or iPhone, a clever feature using an accelerometer to help him fly. As in the well known story Jack eventually defeats the giant and escapes with his money, magic hen and enchanted harp. Once again you use the accelerometer to help Jack fly down the stalk which he does on the back of the magic hen while being pursued by a giant hand. The end always makes me chuckle when Jack's mother appears all glammed up exclaiming that she loves her new hair.

Fleeing the Giant!
A Happy Ending :)
There are many things I like about this app, the graphics are excellent and the characters are fun and appealing to young kids. I think the fact that you have to wait for the words to be read on screen before moving to the next page is important as it prevents children from skipping forward to their favourite interactive features which happens all too often with ebook apps. The spoken word is highlighted as it is read also which is a useful aid for learning to read. The interactive features are extremely engaging and fun and help develop logic and fine motor skills as well as basic physics.

Ben clearly enjoys playing Jack and the Beanstalk and I have found it is an ideal app to keep him entertained on the tube or car journeys. I highly recommend this app for young children, it is a clever fun take on a classic children's tale which is educational and engaging.

Jack and the Beanstalk is available to download for free from the AppStore and is compatible for both iPhone and iPad. Ben and I both love this app as I am sure you will too!

The Jack-Attack!

Loving the interactive features
*Disclaimer: I am a Magic Town Mom and therefore have a relationship with Mindshapes but this has in no way biased my opinion on Jack and the Beanstalk. I think it is an excellent app and young kids are sure to love it.


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