Wreck-It Ralph Storybook Deluxe (iOS) Review
Genre: Family, Interactive storybook
- Includes a story and a game
- My kids loved it
Not so much?
- $6.99 feels a bit steep
- Can be finished in about 10 minutes
Wreck-It Ralph Storybook Deluxe is an interactive storybook application for kids. You can choose to “read” the story, where the book is read to you by a narrator and including video and voice clips from the film. You can also design a candy kart racer, and race it in a Mario kart-style game in the app’s “play” mode.
Last week, I took my two youngest sons, ages 3 and 5, to see Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph. We loved it! (And you can read our review by clicking right here!) I had the opportunity to sit down and let them play with the Wreck-It Ralph Storybook Deluxe app in lieu of their normal bedtime story, and here are our thoughts.
As a parent, a gaming enthusiast, and a tech geek, I love innovations in technology. I really love when I’m introduced to new and interesting things, and any device or application that can get my kids more interested with technology, I’ll love them even more. I grew up with an Apple //c as the family computer, but I wasn’t able to fully enjoy it until I was old enough to read and write. Computers are great, but sometimes for simplicity sake, it’s nice to be able to put a 3 year old in front of a device, and immediately let them start using it and figuring it out. I love being able to hand either of my youngests’ a iPod Touch or the iPad and have them immediately start using it. One of my favorite types of apps to share with the kids are the storybook apps, especially the interactive ones.
Interactive storybooks have been around for awhile. The idea is nothing new — I remember a multimedia comic book that was published shortly after the dawning of the CD-ROM, back in the early 1990s, that combined animation and sound effects. The implementation is much better today, and now that practically every black and white eReader now has a full-color tablet version, children’s books can take on a whole new life. My kids are no longer subjected to listening to my voices and sound effects during bedtime stories!
I played the Wreck-It Ralph Storybook Deluxe app with my 3- and 5-year-old during bedtimes, and they really like it. They loved it so much, that while I was working on this review, my 3-year-old just burst out in excitement, ran across the room to point at my screen, letting me know that the icon at the top of this article was the one for the iPad.
The Wreck-It Ralph Storybook Deluxe app is separated into two modes, “Read” and “Play.” It doesn’t matter which one you do first, but I prefer the kids reading the story first before the fun.
The “read” mode takes about 10 minutes to complete. The story essentially follows the film’s plot line with a few points simplified for the sake of time. I was a little disappointed that the scene with the bad guy support group had none of the franchised villains from the film, like M. Bison from Street Fighter or Clyde from Pac-Man, but I totally understood the legal reasons. My kids, didn’t notice.
Each page is narrated to you, and includes real voice clips and video snippets from the film. Some pages have two or more points of interaction, while others seem to have only one. There are a couple of pages that even use the iOS device’s camera for some “lookit me!” fun.
The play mode lets you design a candy kart racer from Sugar Rush, and then race it in a Mario Kart-lite type mini game. You can customize everything on your racer including individually-different wheels, and a unique body, and then take it to the track. Serious kart racers may find the racing element to be laughable, but for my kids, they found it to be enjoyable. Neither one had any moments of frustration, and it didn’t really seem to matter that they came in last place — they still enjoyed it.
In contrast, my 13-year-old disliked it. He found the app boring and the game uninspiring. The enthusiast in me, would agree to a point, there’s nothing groundbreaking or innovative with the app, but watching my youngests’ wrapped attention and listening to their laughter and their pleading to “just play it one more time,” I think it’s safe to say us more “sophisticated” gamers are overruled — our opinion doesn’t count. Plus, like I said, anything that interests my kids automatically wins me over, despite what the enthusiast in me may say.
I reviewed the app on a 3rd-generation iPad, but because the Wreck-It Ralph Storybook Deluxe app is a universal app, it can also be played on the iPhone and iPod Touch. It is available for $6.99 on the Apple App store. While the price feels a little steep, especially for the relatively short duration, if your kids are like mine, they’ll gladly play this one over and over for weeks.