Made in Me, the UK-based creative studio behind the successful Me Books digital story book app, has just released three new apps based on chapters from their BAFTA nominated educational game, The Land of Me (which Dan Donahoo wrote about back in 2010). The original version was a desktop app that ran in Adobe’s AIR software (and they won an Adobe MAX award for it). The first chapter was free and then you could purchase additional chapters as you pleased. Now those same chapter assets have been repackaged into three separate apps, available for $2.99/£1.99 in the App Store.
The Land of Me is an excellent interactive early learning experience aimed at children aged between two and six. A dedicated team of illustrators, animators, designers, developers and educators invested a great deal of time and money into creating the magical world full of charming characters, including Eric the raccoon, Buddy Boo the bear and Willow the owl. The three apps all follow a similar mechanic – the children can make choices on how the scene will play out by selecting one option from a choice of three, in each of the three or four sets. This gives the apps enough permutations for them not to become too repetitive on repeat playings. The result is a powerful and engaging way to immerse them in language and early literacy.
The first three chapters to be converted into apps cover telling stories, songs and rhyming, and making things, and more are due to follow next year.
The Land of Me – Story Time
This has been out for a while now and in it Granny Olive (a turtle) tells a different story (nearly) every time. You choose which character the story will be about, what item features in it and whether it’s happy, sad or funny. Then you see a simple (but cute), stick man/cave painting animation as she reads it aloud to you. You can follow along with the words and also try to guess the rhymes she’ll use.
The Land of Me – Songs and Rhymes
Bernard the Crocodile like to sing songs. Here you choose who the song is about, as well as its style and tempo – and you can change at will during the song. When your song is playing you get to control the animal band, turning them on and off to create the music.
The Land of Me – Making Things
This one has a tiny bit of physics hidden in the fun. Anthony the Anteater will get his ant buddies (an anteater that’s friends with his food source? Weird.) to build you a structure of your choice, from a variety of materials and on a selection of surfaces. Now you can find out if a jelly castle will float, or what happens if you build a paper palace on mud.
All three apps feature a beautiful, classical hand-drawn illustration style, an original musical score, and some great voice acting by a cast that apparently includes talent from Hollywood and Dr. Who! The simple choice system creates an easy way of even the youngest of geeklings to interact and engage with the stories, and to see the outcomes of the decisions they make.
GeekDad was provided with review codes for the three apps