If you are looking for an app to keep the little ones entertained while on the go then Anorak Magazine is definitely one to check out. Designed by Supermundane, Anorak Magazine’s creative director, and built by iPhone and iPod Touch applications developer On-Sea, this app is a spin off of the popular “Anorak Magazine – The Happy Mag for Kids”. The magazine is optimized for children and the illustrations are unique and thoughtful. This magazine started in the UK and is now available in the US.
The premise of the app is to create fun, entertaining exercises and games for your children. There are three main sections within the app: Read Stuff, Do Stuff, and Play Stuff. Read Stuff has seven different stories showcased in a neat cover-flow graphic presentation where you can easily flip from story cover to cover. Clicking the read button takes you into the story mode. Each story is filled with supplementary images and graphics as well as music, sound effects, and at times narration. Read Stuff has a good selection of stories to choose from and should keep your child engaged.
Do Stuff has four exercises: Do Colouring!, Do Follow Me!, Do Drawing! and Do Word Search!. Do Colouring! has a variety of black and white sketches to select from. Select a picture then color within the lines just as you would with a regular coloring book. There are 10 different shades of color to choose from. Within this mode, there appears to be a mild bug where you can color outside the picture’s border. This is by no means a large issue as kids will likely be haphazardly coloring all over the canvas, but something we thought should be mentioned.
Do Follow Me! is a neat game that’s sure to be a hit with the children. Follow the blue line of characters though a maze by dragging your finger over the path. Any slip outside the blue path and you lose, bringing you back to the starting point. Do Drawing! brings up the drawing board, just like Do Colouring!, though the difference is you have an empty canvas to create with. The developers added in a word so you have some direction, for example, it says “draw something cold” or “draw something that makes this sound: BZZZ”. This additional direction helps kids use their imagination while drawing. Finally, Do Word Search! requires you to spell out ANORAK within a word puzzle board. You can move in any direction and use the same letter twice to accomplish the puzzle.
The last category, Play Stuff has two games: Cycling and Whack-Anorak. In Cycling, you must tilt the phone in the direction you want the bike to go. Ride over mountains and see how far you can get before you fall off your bike. Whack-Anorak’s object is to touch as many blue Anoraks in a row as possible. Avoid touching the pink light man. This game test’s your speed and reflex skills. We have seen many similar type speed games, though this one adds its own Anorak theme into the mix.
Anorak Magazine’s creative visuals and fun sound effects are the perfect way to entertain your little rascals for hours on end. The artwork is unique and the game-play is bound to appeal to your kid. The child voice-over is a cute touch that seemed to work well for certain sections in the app, though the developers applied a strange echo filter to the voice, giving it somewhat of a creepy vibe, especially during the introduction screen. But all in all the app is put together quite well and has plenty of value for the price-point of $0.99. You are basically getting three different apps in one so the replay appeal is high. Children are bound to get a kick out of the quirky characters, the music, and sound effects, as well as the occasional voice-over performed by a fellow youngster. The developers have noted updates like additional stories and games that are soon to follow. Oksar LTD’s Anorak Magazine will be a sure hit with the kids. Its cheery, vibrant, welcoming screen and original characters will be an inviting and safe environment for kids to develop their creativity and curiosity.
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