Bottom Line: A cute story about the importance of taking care of where you live (read: cleaning and doing chores) with great animation and even a theme song!
(Please note that this review is for the non-Yogiplay version of this app. There is a Yogiplay version for those who use the system.)
The House That Went On Strike, by developer Jumping Pages, is a rhyming story about a house whose occupants don't take very good care of where they live:
My windows were streaked and my walls were all slimy
My shingles were battered, I had no sense of pride
And if you think that looks gloomy, take a look inside
The house itself organizes a strike amongst all of its parts (appliances, stairs, etc.) so that the family will learn to take better care. It works out well for the house, as you might imagine if such a thing happened in your home. It would be Lord of the Flies in my house within minutes.
The parts of this house don't just go on strike; they start a full-fledged "Clean Revolution" to great comical effect, including an oven that screams "Fire! Fire!", a washer and dryer that hold a hair dryer cord to trip Mom, a toaster that shoots toast at Dad's head, and a dishwater that throws dishes at the two kids.
The images and animation are very strong with the child able to interact with full-color items that stand out against a less-colorful background. The touch-animations move while the narration is read, but only make additional noise after the narration is finished, which I especially like.
My children's favorite of the animations was when the stairs take part in the strike by turning into a slippery slide. There is also a nice animation that puts a spotlight on the house, illuminating only a certain part.
The words are highlighted when read, but they aren't read when touched. Also, most children might miss that the way to reach the menu is to touch the darkened upper-right corner, as the center-bottom is used most often.
The narration is terrific. Former Congresswoman, mom and grandmother Patricia Schroeder, the first woman elected to the House of Representatives from Colorado, narrates the app. Schroeder served from 1973-1997 and wrote "24 Years of House Work…and the Place is Still a Mess." 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of her historic run for President. There is no mention of who Schroeder is, however, in the app except as "Narrator - Patricia Schroeder."
The additional narration, such as an Italian-accented stove saying "Somebody a-clean me" is also very good. The app also has its own theme song, which you don't see too often, in app-world. My son really enjoyed the song but requested that lyrics be included in the app so he can sing-along with the words.
The House That Went On Strike is an extremely well-developed app that I recommend. I'll let you know if it scares my kids enough to understand the importance of doing their chores. Maybe I'll pretend to talk through the appliances.
If you would like to purchase The House that Went on Strike ($2.99 iPad) please support Smart Apps for Kids by using the following link:
This review was completed by Ron Engel, who would be at the complete mercy of his iPad were it to ever go on strike.