Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Weirdwood Manor

Weirdwood Manor

Spring 2016 Mobile Apps
Ages: 6 - 12 yrs.
Download Price: $4.99
Platform: iPad

Part storybook, part animated film, part game and part puzzle, "Weirdwood Manor" is a visually stunning interactive story about three children who learn that their imaginations hold the keys to extraordinary abilities.

As the story unfolds around the orphan Oliver, the reader explores the scenes, discovers fantastic creatures hidden all around, and solves a handful of mysterious puzzles. Players collect clues as they read the story; the progression is based on the story rather than levels or other game elements. It's possible to finish the story without collecting all the clues, which encourages kids to go back and re-read the story. The hint/discovery system, which is delightfully appealing, is a fairy-like creature called a "findling", whose sparkles of light accumulate around specific areas of the scene and players tap to reveal the secret. In some cases this is a genuine secret, a hidden clue or creature, but in some cases it's something already present, like Oliver's scarf.

The story, illustration and art direction, and narration are very strong. The pacing is ideal for pulling young readers into the rich fantasy world and setting up the story. Our most intrigued tester/player/readers, who are big fantasy readers and avid gamers, were fascinated with this app. They didn't want to put it down until they had finished. Striking artwork, age-appropriate mystery, puzzles to solve and secrets to uncover. Not at all a bad way to spend some time.

Parents' Choice   ©2016 Parents' Choice

Look for this product at:
All Play, No Work
Available on iTunes

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