*Originally posted by Hillary on AppTudes.
Richard Scarry’s Busytown (sold separately for iPad $3.99) by Night and Day Studios brings the children’s classic story to iOS. More game than book, Busytown combines several different early learning elements into an app that is endearing to children and parents.
The adventures begins with children selecting their character. They can choose from a variety of clothing options to outfit the character. From swimsuit to winter parka, the options are pretty humorous on these characters.
There are eight interactive rooms and places found within Busytown. Children are asked to locate a particular item found within a room. For example, in the grocery store, children will be asked to find a watermelon.
Goldbug, who is literally, a gold bug, is hidden in every room, and never in the same place twice for an added bonus.
To interact, simply tap on an item to reveal the associated word. Swipe the image to navigate through the rooms. Children can go back to the various places over and over and the experience will change subtly each time.
Parents might experience a twinge of nostalgia watching their children interact with Richard Scarry’s Busytown. The illustrations in the app honor Richard Scarry’s timeless illustrations that are found within his children’s books.
What makes this app compelling is its ability to reveal the workings of the adult world through the eyes of a child. Children can easily place themselves in the world of Busytown and imagine.
However, there are some improvements that could be made to this app. The narration fluctuates from loud to quiet depending on the room and the task. It would be nice to have a more universal voice. Also, it would be nice to see more animated interaction within the app. While some animation is present, it is not entirely consistent.
While this app appears simple it is engaging. This is a solid choice for preschool through kindergarten. Richard Scarry’s Busytown teaches all about cause and effect without being flashy or overly animated.
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