app review: jazzy world tour

the creators of the “jazzy apps” asked if i’d be willing to test out and review their newest app–jazzy world tour.

here are my thoughts:

–the artwork is high quality and charming.

–the app does a fairly good job of directing pre-readers through the app with verbal cues, but if your child doesn’t listen to the instructions, it’s not highly intuitive that you’re supposed to click on the flags instead of on the other fun (and sometimes larger) images:

for instance, if you click on the hot air balloon, it just takes you back to the initial “landing page” which i’m not sure why you would want to return to.  clicking on the gigantic “i” in a circle takes you to the boring grown-up information page.  clicking on the boats makes little waves-splashing sounds, but they don’t move or anything (irritating to my transportation obsessed son).

–when you finally do click on a flag, you’re taken to a landing page for that country and given the choices of “play” “learn” and “create.”

“play” (see top image in this post) gives you a screen with a variety of animals native to that region (with the exception of the two main character cats who visit each country), most with musical instruments.  when you touch each character, they play their instrument (or throw a boomerang or go for a run or something else).  this is marginally interesting in that you get to hear what these unusual instruments sound like (or at least a small soundbyte sampling).

“learn” is a picture dictionary of instruments, animals and other cultural objects that the region is known for.  click on the picture and see/hear a definition.

“create” is a moving/talking sticker book that allows users to drag images from the bottom bar (that scrolls to reveal many different images) into the scene above and either take a photo or make a video that can be saved in the travel scrapbook (seen in the top right corner of the second image in this post) or shared with friends via e-mail, facebook, youtube or twitter.  the video capability is the most interesting element of the entire app.  kids can make up their own narrative story using the pictures and characters in the scene provided.  each character comes with its own pre-determined sound (meowing, mooing, etc.) and motion (head nodding, mooing) but users can also record their own voices speaking so that the “stickers” can be used more like puppets greatly increasing the pre-literacy skills value of this app by incorporating a true story-telling element.

–perhaps the happy toddler isn’t the target audience for this app (he’s three, maybe an older user would engage with it more?) but he was… not impressed.  we played with it together for a short while for the first time, peeking into each of the countries, but as soon as we were done with that, he was ready to move on to other apps and he’s been uninterested in returning to it again.

–with an adult and child working together, i could see this app contributing an interactive element to a homeschool lesson learning about one of these world cultures.  education seems to be the app’s main goal, and it does a fine job of that, but at least for our family, this app did not provide hours of endless entertainment.

*note:  other than receiving a free copy of the app to review, i was in no other way compensated for this post and these opinions are all my own.

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