Dec 8, 2010
Technology is forever changing the way children experience and learn fundamental skills such as language and reading. “Food Fight! Children’s Book” by developer Jelly Biscuits takes the next logical step by bringing innovative and interactive reading to our handheld devices, which more than often end up in the clutches of our children’s tiny hands. “Food Fight! Children’s Book” features original illustrations and text from Glenn Melenhorstâ€™s popular childrenâ€™s book “Little Boys.” In a collaborative effort this re-released version has been remastered with over 80 interactive elements and can be found on both Android and iOS. Since I have 2 young reviewers at home, I decided to hand it over to them for some testing for this Android Rundown.
An interactive children’s book on my Android phone really is a cool concept and one that is presented very well by the developers. Food Fight! is full of brilliant illustrations and interaction for your children to enjoy. There are a couple of different ways to experience the story with options to choose from at the beginning of the book. You can toggle sounds on/off, choose to have the book read aloud automatically and even have the pages turned automatically. There is also an option to turn on “Star Hunt” which is a mini-quest to locate all the red stars within the story (find them all for a bonus page).
All interaction is done via touch controls. Pages are turned by either swiping, which creates a slick 3D page turn animation, or by pulling up the thumbnail view of all pages (press timmy’s peeking head) which is also a quick and easy way to page jump. Pages can be read aloud automatically or manually depending on which option you have chosen. To have words read aloud manually you just tap on the word you would like to hear and it will be read. While this is a good way for your children to recognize words and how they sound it doesn’t make for a smooth story. The text is on the small side which results in many touch mistakes. You can zoom in and out but you end up sacrificing page view which is important for the full experience.
Each page is full of interactive content and sounds. Finding them all is fun and adds to the overall experience. The illustrations are wonderful and the concept is brilliant, it’s the story that has me puzzled.
“Food Fight!” is a story about a boy named Tim who loves to eat sausages and “Sammy,” a sausage from “somewhere else,” who loves to eat little boys. They meet and argue about each others eating habits and ultimately end up becoming pals after deciding to eat an entirely new victim (character); Brussel Sprouts.
I am quite confused as to why the developers chose this story to showcase what is otherwise an excellent concept. While I understood the storyline I found it a tad disturbing (maybe it’s my twisted mind). I mean a boy who loves to eat sausages? A sausage who loves to eat little boys? My kids didn’t really care for the story either and gave me that confused look when listening to the story. They where more or less interested in the interactive content. I personally love the idea and wouldn’t mind trying out other stories but for me this one was a thumbs down. As for the two little reviewers, they didn’t care for the story and became bored with the interactive content fairly quickly to my dismay. A little boost came when we unlocked the bonus page but overall it didn’t entertain them for very long.
“Food Fight! Children’s Book” is available in the Android Market for $3.88 and while in my opinion the effort is possibly worth the price, this particular story is not. I hope to see more from the developers in the future because I believe they have a great concept to help fill a good niche, they just need to utilize more popular children stories/figures to do it.
Food Fight! Childrenâ€™s Book Review Rundown
App available on the Google Play Store »