I’ve been away from apps for a while, but saw a crop of free-for-the-day ones that I thought I’d try. Sheldon’s Adventure: Cornered by Intense Media (iPad, iPhone, iPod $1.99) is an app about a square-shelled turtle who is facing bullying at school. I downloaded it because we can always use a good app about bullying, but I was disappointed by this one.
Story app developers all seem to think that their stories need to rhyme, and sometimes they really stretch to make it happen. That occurs a few times, but not enough for me to get upset about. I’m not thrilled with the story itself, because Sheldon’s shell is presented as something he could change if only he had enough money rather than being an intrinsic part of himself. His mother talks about it as if it’s part of him for a reason, but he takes his grass cutting money to the store to look for a new shell and tries several on. This is weird for me on many levels. At the end, of course, his shell saves the day (in a bizarre way that a round shell would serve as well), and he’s pleased with it.
Aside from the weakness in the story, I found the functionality to be seriously lacking. It’s really difficult to change pages, the interactivity is not intuitive, and when I pressed around on the page to see what would happen, the app kept flipping the pages backward. The interactivity that did exist was not impressive, didn’t really have anything to do with the story in most cases, and just fell flat. There is no way to choose whether or not to have the app read to you, although I guess parents could just turn the sound down if they wanted to read it to the child, or let the child read for themselves.
Altogether, give this one a pass.