iPad Game Review: Amelia and Terror of the Night (Universal) Review
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
Amelia and Terror of the Night is an interactive book for iOS. It is a story of a young girl and her three animal friends vanquishing evil in a magical world.
Despite the oddly translated title, Amelia and Terror of the Night is a highly polished interactive book. The story will unfold over twenty different pages, all of which contain numerous interactive elements for young ones to tinker with. Although there are stars to collect (3 on every page) and some simple mini-games, this is not a game, it's a book; albeit a very interactive one with enough polish to make it feel like one. The central characters are charming and sweetly drawn, and there is just enough conflict to make the story exciting without making it overly scary or stressful for even the smallest of tykes (although the villain is a bit menacing). You can flip the pages as you would expect, or access the navigation panel to go straight to a particular page. The story can be completed in minutes, but you will want to linger on each page in order to reveal its secrets, and to hunt for stars. Although this is targeted at the 5-and-under crowd, my eight-year old enjoyed the star hunt enough to return to it several times before losing interest so you're likely to get your $5 worth, even if your kids are older than the target market.
Even if you're too old for the story, nearly everyone is likely to enjoy Amelia due to its beautiful graphics. The four central characters are very frankly adorable (my favorite is the plucky cat in a rocket-powered wheelchair), the locations are diverse and beautiful, and the interactive elements are animated so nicely that small children are likely to be nearly hypnotized by them for extended periods of time as they repeatedly trigger favorite animations. Amelia supports the iPhone 5's new resolution, but is not retina-ready for the newer iPads.
The sound effects and music of Amelia are first-rate, and go a long way toward making this book feel like quite a bit more than a book. The standout audio feature, however, is the narration, which features a highly trained male voice with just enough emphasis and inflection to bring the story to life. The fact that he has a slight (and difficult to identify) accent just makes it sound that much better. This narration can be disabled for those of you who want your child to read the story on his/her own; A very nice touch.
Amelia, Terror of the Night, is a beautiful interactive book that is targeted at youngsters, yet would be enjoyable by almost any age group to some degree. If you're in the market for a book with great graphics, animation, sound effects, music, narration, and oodles of interaction, you owe it to yourself (and your kids) to give Amelia Terror of the Night a try.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4.5 - Great graphics that include iPhone 5 support, but not retina-ready for the new iPads. Sound: - 5 - Great sound effects/music, and superior narration. Controls: - 5 - The interface is clean and dead-simple; a child could use this app. Gameplay: - 5 - For an interactive book, the gameplay is one of the best on the market; just don't expect an actual game here.
Playing Hints and Tips:
If you're looking for stars, keep in mind that some elements have multiple animations, and must be tapped repeatedly. Rock your device side to side to reveal additional items on the extreme edges.