A Christmas Carol (iPad) Review
The Christmas classic gets interactive...
If you are not familiar with this work of Charles Dickens, allow me to summarize: Scrooge hates everyone, especially during Christmas, and this year he's "motivated" to come around to the light side of the force. The motivation of course being ghosts that take Scrooge on a personal journey through his past, present, and future, making this Christmas tale more than just a kids story. Of course it's been adapted by everything on earth, but these days it would not be a surprise if the little guys haven't heard or seen this timeless tale.
This app developed by Padworx is an adapted work by Jeffrey Alan Schechter of the Dickens classic; an adaptation meant to be more accessible to the younger readers. And yes, this is a book - please don't run away in horror just yet. This book comes with bells and whistles, literally. More than a book, most of the pages have some sort of quirky, touch-based event that unveils either more of the work or adds emotion to what you have read. These occurrences range from holding still quivering sentences to brushing away the darkness of an entire page. There are 116 pages, but not all have a touch-based feature, and some have only a minor tap or two. For the pages with complexity, they are almost like puzzle games, especially when some of the taps are not as easy to see and can be missed.
There is excellent work done with the mood conveyed. The atmosphere is that of a haunted factory, and further delves into spookiness for each page. Most impressive is the effort put into the sound design. Not every page comes with a musical score, but there are dramatic tunes queued for emotional moments in the story. The first and last pages of this work being the crowning achievements of what can be done to bring life to a book, having a moving title screen and ending song respectively. There is also a menu for full table of contents to access each page, credits, and links.
Seeing that Padworx version of Dracula has its own soundtrack, it's clear that this story didn't get the complete royal treatment. But there is nothing that can be done to negatively affect your feelings on the story unless they omitted vast portions of the story or set it in the middle of Jupiter, so by adding said bells and whistles, Padworx has only done good to assist you and yours in connecting with the heart of this tale. It boils down to whether or not you are looking for a quality twist on one of the all-time classics - like adding spice to your favorite dish. It's much more than a book, or even an ebook, but at the end of the day you still have to read it.
Transmitted: 9/20/2014 10:01:28 PM