- Posted by Johanna on April 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
Now available for iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) are two new Marvel storybook apps to tie into the upcoming Avengers movie. Both Avengers Origins: Hulk and Avengers Origins: Assemble! are narrated by Stan Lee; each costs $1.99 and is aimed at children ages 4-10.
I got to check out the Avengers team version, which includes interactive activities. (You can see some of them in the screenshots at the app page.) They’re simple drag or tap actions that make the reader feel more part of the story. My favorite one was dragging to melt the ice Captain America was stuck in! Helping Thor smack bad guys was also pretty neat.
The plot covers how Thor, Iron Man (in red and silver, which looks wrong to me), Giant-Man, and the Wasp fight Namor and the Hulk. It begins with an abandoned Arctic base, where we eventually discover Cap. The storytelling was a bit spotty, as though a couple of pages were left out, and the art was nothing to write home about. It was fun swiping, to see the pages at my own speed, and hearing Stan talking, though. I’m not sure how much of a draw Stan will be to the kid audience, who presumably doesn’t know who he is, but I guess parents can be impressed and tell the child why that’s neat.
There’s a page menu for navigation (44 in all) and a choice of modes: “Read to Me”, with Stan’s narration; Auto-Turn Pages; and Young Reader Mode, with more obvious page navigation help. When you tap or swipe each screen, it animates to the next. Only English is available right now, but other languages are labeled “coming soon”.
The Hulk app tells how Dr. Bruce Banner came to transform into the green-skinned monster with “detailed artwork, cutting-edge animations, and interactive touch-screen activities, including roaring, transforming into the Hulk, and testing the Hulk’s strength by breaking through walls, stopping tanks, and more.”
If your child steals your iPad and you want to prepare her for the upcoming film, this would make a good introduction to the characters, although it will lead to the question “why isn’t the Wasp in the movie?”