is a modern version of the mechanical marvels of yesteryear that entertained our grandparents as children. This time the music box is animated and configurable by you to play familiar classical tunes with imagery that captures the imagination. It’s a new app from studio Kidoteca. I was most impressed with the production quality of the app. The artwork and animation are really well done. The first time I saw it, I thought “This looks interesting.” And I was not disappointed.
As soon as I launched , it immediately reminded me of all the time our kids spent with Disney’s Little Einsteins. The classical music combined with interesting animation is really compelling.
The app opens with a simple, but effective interface. You move your finger in a circle on the right side of the screen to make the music play and the animated world turn. The faster you turn, the faster the music plays. Turn it slowly and the animation and music slow down as well.
Along the bottom is a slide out tray of controls. From there it’s easy to change the world, change the music, make the music play automatically or find out more information about the piece that’s currently playing.
There are 6 animated worlds to watch. Each comes with a matching musical piece, but you can change it if you have a preference. My son really likes the outer space theme. I could easily see etting the music to Brahm’s Lullaby and letting it run on automatic. He would be out in a flash. If only there were a timer that would turn the app off after a while. This app could be really useful at bedtime or naptime.
While the publisher says this app is for kids of all ages, I think that it is most useful and entertaining to the younger crowd. Babies, toddlers and even preschoolers could amuse themselves long enough to let a busy parent get something constructive done.
The interface is simple and clear. I was a little surprised that you can’t run the animation or music backwards. It just seems so natural to want to. I can understand why mechanical music boxes don’t, but an electronic one can do so much more.
I also wish the developer hadn’t stuck quite so literally to the music box metaphor. I found the animations delightful and interesting. I really wished that there were more of them and that they took up more of the screen. Having the “key” take up a full third of the screen seems like a poor choice for an otherwise great looking app.
But really, that is a minor thing. I see a lot of apps and can safely say that is one of the best iPad apps for younger kids that I have come across recently. Parents should respect the fact that the app contains no third-party ads, no outbound links to anything and no in-app purchases. It is very kid-friendly.
Note: The publisher of this app paid a fee to iKidApps in order to be reviewed more quickly and to have the review released on the day of the app’s release.