Picky Kid Rating: 2.9
Parents with toddlers will appreciate the bed-time routine aspects of Bo’s Bedtime Story. In this game, kids help Bo the giraffe pick up toys, put laundry away, take a bath, brush teeth, etc. Unfortunately, the game has several issues that keep us looking for a better one. (Will keep you posted, of course!)
Putting Bo to bed is a ten step routine. Each task is a different scene. The tasks require skills like sorting, matching colors, and enough hand-eye coordination to “catch” falling objects. Each scene begins with an instructional voiceover. Kids can move back or forward in the routine by tapping left or right arrows at the top of the screen. This allows them to skip a task if it is too difficult — a good thing because some of the tasks probably will be. It’s possible to replay a scene (maybe you really enjoy putting clothes in the laundry basket!) with a “reset” button in the lower right. When a task is completed, kids are rewarded with “Yay!”, and the right arrow pulsates, encouraging them to move on. This simple navigation works well.
Here’s what we find frustrating:
- You cannot start tasks until the instructional voiceover is complete.
- “Cutting” kisses down from the ceiling is not very intuitive and sometimes doesn’t respond well to our touchscreen input.
- Getting the bear through the maze is difficult, even for an adult! (It feels as if there are unresponsive spots on the touchscreen.)
- Several tasks are more like video games than education — for example, where we have to move Bo’s bathtub to catch bubbles on her* head, or catch letters that fall from the ceiling on a book. Both of these activities could be improved if the voiceover would count or say letters as the items were caught.
(*We’ve always called Bo a “her” but the giraffe is quite gender-neutral and according to the developer’s site, it’s actually a boy!)
Although Bo herself is super-cute, we’re generally not fans of the graphic style. It’s very bright and the mix of line weights feels awkward. Animations are simple, and a few are so simplistic that they’re slightly creepy. (Bo’s arms look like a zombie trying to catch the bear; they don’t bend at all.) Several of the activities feel too contrived.
Younger children (under 3) will need help with several of the tasks, and may have trouble understanding some of the visual cues, like Bo’s thought balloon showing how many of which color duck she wants. When we first got this game, B tried to drag the ducks out the thought balloon. That’s certainly the most efficient, but it doesn’t work. Three months later B “gets” it, but it’s hard to tell if she understands it conceptually or has learned it as a pattern for this game.
Things we like:
- The voiceover (English only) — I think it’s one of the best we’ve experienced! It’s friendly and love-able without being too cute. Especially when she says “Oops!”
- The teeth-brushing scene — It’s not great to look at, but the action kids use to clean Bo’s teeth is pretty close to reality (as is the swisha-swisha sound).
There is also a dress-up doll mini-game that can be accessed from the home screen.Review: Bo's Bedtime Story iPad app,
Bo's Bedtime Story
Played on: iPad 2, iOS4