I downloaded the Tortoise without any issues. It is easy to use and quick to learn. The initial screen displays with the Tortoise explaining what to do to get things started. There are three buttons to choose from: “READ TO ME”, “LET ME PLAY” and “OPTIONS”. You do not need to go into the “OPTIONS” initially to start using the application; it comes pre-set with the most useful options already enabled. Pressing the “OPTIONS” button displays a screen with six different buttons: “more storybooks”, “languages and more”, “teacher resources”, “parental tips”, “settings” and “credits”. “more storybooks” leads to a sale’s pitch for other applications available from Wanderful; “languages and more” leads to an upgrade option for this application allowing you to purchase the French Language version, Classroom Activities and new feature upgrades for a reasonable $2.99; “teacher resources” and “parental tips” provide some free details on how best to utilize the application; “settings” provides you with a screen that allows you to enable “Bookmark”, “Patience Mode”, “Page Story Completion”, Page Turn Swipes”, “Skip Title Page” and “Highlight Hotspots”. Each one provides adequate details about how they affect the application.

The overall user interface is very simple and appropriately designed for young children, so as not to get them frustrated. From the perspective of an adult, the graphics are kind of simple, but should be engaging enough for young children which is this application’s target audience. Parents will definitely need to sit down before showing the application to their children and familiarize themselves with the different controls; this shouldn’t require more then 5 – 10 minutes, as they are very simple, being a swipe here and a press there. This makes the learning curve very quick and easy. Build quality was excellent; I tried many different things, and all worked as expected, without a single flaw.

I think that there is enough interaction in the applications to keep younger children intrigued to use it many times. As the story is read, the words on the screen are highlighted. After the words on the screen are read, you can press the different words to have them read aloud in whatever order they are touched. This makes it somewhat of a potential learning experience for those children that are learning to read. For those that are not so quite advanced, they can press on different parts of the pictures and cause different animations and sounds to happen.

Overall, this application is a very good value and I would purchase it again. It would also be worthwhile looking into the other similar types of applications sold by Wanderful. The only thing that I would be careful about is that it is relatively easy for a young child to go down the path of purchasing the premium product, so make sure that you have your App Store adequately protected.

Tortoise & the Hare
Tortoise & the Hare
Developer: Wanderful, Inc.
Price: $4.99