Picky Kid Rating: 4.2
Little Fox Music Box is a charming song and music app with gorgeous illustrations and a lot of interactivity. You can play music, sing along, or just explore the scenes. The app’s biggest drawback is that there are only three songs — it feels pretty limited.
Everything about this app is richly illustrated, and that includes the home screen. When you arrive, you’ll see Little Fox sitting in the forest with his brightly colored guitar. His tail is swaying a bit — like he’s asking you what he should play. You can choose a song by cycling through the choices in the middle of the screen (tap the one you want), or instead, you can enter the Fox Studio. There are also options for language (German or English — though the British and American flags are shown, it’s British English you’ll hear) and Karaoke mode… and smaller links to “more apps” and “credits”.
You may choose from three different songs: London Bridge, Evening Song, and Old MacDonald. There are visual clues to help kids who can’t read pick the one they want. For example, Evening Song has a little moon by it.
When you make a selection, you will need to wait for some loading, but the fox drinking coffee (or is it cocoa?) during the pause is so dang cute you kind of won’t care. Eventually, you’ll see the song’s scene, and unless you’ve selected Karaoke mode from the home screen, recorded voices will start singing almost immediately. The words to the song will appear at the top of the screen, regardless of whether or not you’ve selected Karaoke mode. The song plays through once, then the music ends. You can cut the music off earlier by tapping a music note icon near the top right of the screen (and, conversely, start the music over if it’s off), and you can return to the home screen via an arrow in the upper right.
All of the song scenes are richly illustrated, and offer wonderful exploratory interactivity. Try tapping everything to see what happens! In the Night Song scene, there are also some dragging interactions (with a few clues to help you find them). The Old MacDonald scene has a button in the upper left which allows you to change the seasons. Watch carefully to see a (G-rated) love story unfold as the year goes by. Be sure to check the edges of all scenes for various surprises.
Speaking of surprises, B’s first comment about the London Bridge scene was “Where’s the bridge, Mommy?” We were surprised that bridge had indeed already fallen down when the scene starts. It would be more fun if we could actually see if fall and perhaps help to build it up again too. It also would be fun, if in the Old MacDonald scene, the animals did something special when their names were called.
Other picky laments about content: In the London Bridge scene there’s a scream in the that’s too scary (and too loud to boot!); and hmm… are those stereotypical tourists amusing or offensive?
Our favorite part of the game is the Fox Studio. Here, you can explore all sorts of noise-making devices! They range from the obvious (drums) to the obscure (caterpillar). Turn on the amp to watch the fox dance! Make sure to check out ALL his moves (hint: if you haven’t seen him stand on his head, you haven’t seen all the moves). I would like the studio even better if you could record loops to play with. But that’s not at all necessary to keep a 3-year-old engaged.
Overall, Little Fox Music Box offers rich illustrations and lots of interactivity in a highly explorable music app. It’s not a game, per se, and it’s certainly not a book! (For some reason, the App Store has it categorized as such.) But experimental toddlers are sure to enjoy this app. The question is, will they keep coming back for just four scenes?
Review: Little Fox Music Box iPad App,
Little Fox Music Box
Played on: iPad 2, iOS5