How to Play
Kids start with an empty stage. By tapping on the gear icon in the upper right of the screen, kids open the choice menus. The first step is to choose a fairy tale from the scroll wheel on the left, which populates menus along the top and bottom of the screen with characters, props, and background scenes from that particular fairy tale. Kids choose a backdrop for the stage, then place characters and props into it, and add background music.
After setting the scene, kids can press the Record button and animate the scene by moving characters and props around with their fingers (the app supports multi-touch, so more than one character can move at a time, which encourages players to create together). As playwrights, kids use their voices to create dialogue and sound effects that are picked up by the device's microphone.
Children can create as many scenes in this manner as they like. When finished, they can head back to the main menu and watch the entire play, which consists of all of the scenes played back one after the other.
With its focus on popular fairy tales, The Complete Fairytale Play Theater
offers kids a couple of different ways to work on their storytelling skills. Players can have fun recreating their favorite fairy tales by staying true to the plots and characters of the original stories, or they can mix and match elements from different tales to create something new.
In terms of usability, the app would benefit from having contextual help throughout instead of front-loading the instructions at the beginning via a series of video tutorials. Kids might need a parent's help to explain what all the icons are and what they do.
The inclusion of more that 60 characters sets the stage for countless stories. However, the animation of the characters is very limited. Unlike the controls found in a similar storytelling app called Toontastic
, the characters here don't automatically turn directions as they move; rather the player must double-tap on a character to make it turn around. And in Toontastic
, the characters' limbs gesticulate, whereas here they do not. Also, there is no way to introduce your own hand-drawn characters.
The Complete Fairytale Play Theater is a decent app for kids who want to tell stories, especially if they already know and like the fairy tales featured. Fans of the Nosy Crow apps will particularly enjoy the characters and artwork. Parents should be prepared to sit with younger children until they get over the learning curve.
This The Complete Fairytale Play Theater app review was written by Erin Bell.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.