Brave: Storybook Deluxe

I have to say, the new Brave Storybook Deluxe app really hits the bulls-eye.  Not only is it a beautiful interactive storybook, with great illustrations, background music and character voices, I think the bonus games and activities are some of the must fun I've seen in a storybook app.  

There are multiple reading modes, which you can select according your child's reading level or preference:  Follow Along, Read and Explore, and Record Your Own Voice.

Tap on the pictures and elements come to life in short animated sequences (i.e. the triplets pop up from behind chairs, will-o-the-wisps float around, Merida rips the tapestry, etc..).  The one where Merida shoots a bullseye in the archery competition is a particularly long sequence, and it looks like it came straight from the movie.

 The app has 4 activities -- coloring pages, puzzles and 2 games -- which are way more interesting than any other storybook app I've ever seen. 

The coloring page images are not so detailed (i.e. no complicated scenery, just characters) so they're much easier to color in.  They also give you a wider range of colors, including flesh tones, to flesh out (pun intended) your coloring.  With careful swipes, I was actually able to color in a decent picture.

The puzzles are more challenging, and therefore more fun for older kids.  Jammy and I had a good time putting together this puzzle of the triplets.  If only the app had a stopwatch we could activate to see who completed the puzzle faster, that would be even more fun!

The Archer's Quest is lots of fun, because it's tied to the Merida's Challenge game.  Archer's Quest is a scavenger hunt:  as you go through the story, you'll see a quiver pop up in the lower right-hand corner from time to time.  This means there's an arrow hidden in the page for you to find.  Find the arrow and tap on it, and you've got an extra magic arrow to improve your score in Merida's Challenge.  You can hunt for magic arrows 3 times (10 magic arrows each time), with the arrows being progressively more difficult (but never impossible) to find.  Once you've gathered a quiver of 30 magic arrows, you can reset the scavenger hunt and start the fun all over again.

Merida's Challenge is an archery game.  Merida is riding through the forest with her quiver of arrows, shooting targets as she gallops past them.  You start out with a quiverful of regular arrows (I haven't been able to figure out how many you start out with), plus any magic arrows you've collected in the Archer's Quest game.  Tap the targets to aim Merida's arrows and hit as many targets as you can to improve your score.  The magic arrows make it easier to hit bullseyes or splitting into 3 arrows or adding arrows to your quiver.  The game ends when you run out of arrows.  This is really a fun game!  It reminds me of Temple Run: Brave, and my kids certainly play it almost as much.

I do miss being able to add a virtual bookplate (with your child's name and photo) to the home page, but it's a small loss in comparison to the increase in functionality (and fun).

At $6.99, Brave: Storybook Deluxe is more expensive than the Disney Classics Storybooks on iPad ($3.99), but with the richer functionality, it's worth the extra cost.  Frankly, I'd love it if the Disney Classics were $2.99 and Brave: Storybook Deluxe were $4.99, but just as Merida learned not to mess with fate, I'm not going to mess with Disney's pricing decisions.

Disclosure: I received a free download of the app to review. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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