Every so often when I am testing an app it becomes clear to me that the developer is really on the right track to something, that they've got a great idea, but the project hasn't gone far enough to make a really good app.
Such is the case with Aesop's Tales by Progetto Rosetta. The app includes very shortened versions (three pages each) of five of Aesop's Fables (The Fox and the Grapes, The Grasshopper and the Ants, The Lion and the Dolphin, The Fox and the Crow, and the Tortoise and the Hare). Then, after playing dress-up with Aesop (!), he presents the moral of the story.
I like that the stories are shortened, although 2-4 pages may be a bit too brief; I like that Aesop sums it all up after each story; I like the graphics, which are nice cartoons. I really like the idea of this app.
But it falls apart on execution:
* There is no narration, very little sound and the music that is there is some sort of "clip art" music because I've heard it in other apps.
* The English translation is not great. The moral of one story is "Those who do not succeed in realising their aims because they are not able to do so, often disdain that which they did succeed in doing." That's not text you want a child to try to understand, and that's after the two-page The Fox and the Grapes story that really doesn't make any sense.
* The dress-up Aesop game is funny and would make a fun side-game as part of the app, but the child has to do it each time they want to finish the story. It's also not compatible with the age-group targeted, since there is no narration and the text is somewhat advanced. In other words, the child who can read the app and comprehend it isn't going to want to play dress-up Aesop as part of each story.
* Even downloading it from the U.S. iTunes store, the icon is titled "favole di esopo" on my iPad.
Much of Aesop's writing is still appropros today, 2500 years later. So there is a story to tell here, but this app needs a few expansions and updates. The app is normally priced at $2.99 and currently on sale for $0.99, but even at the cheaper price, I can't recommend it.
If you would like to purchase Aesop's Tales please use the links provided. The cost is the same, but Smart Apps For Kids receives a small percentage. Thanks for your support!
This app was reviewed by Ron Engel who still can't believe that the tortoise wins every time. smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.