Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
In theory, an app-based social media platform for creating shareable stories — by stringing words, animated images, and audio together — sounds pretty cool. NARR8 aims to do all of this and more, but it fumbles the process so badly that the intriguing idea alone won't warrant your time. The overall quality of the available reading content through the app (both user- and developer-generated) is lacking, and building your own stories is an unintuitive process rife with unnecessary hoop-jumping and technical issues.
As an iOS app, NARR8 is primarily a tool for viewing other people's content, purchasing or unlocking elements to use in your own stories, and sharing creations via social media. You can download episodes of animated motion comics, plus interactive nonfiction and narrative-heavy fiction stories with illustrations. The visual imagery across the board ranges from decent to superb, though the writing itself is spotty.
For example, an eight-page Introduction to the Basic Principles of Photography "book" on NARR8 contains such helpful insights as "read the instruction manual" for your camera and "hold the camera with both hands." The fiction doesn't fare much better. Still, there are episodes that will entertain those into sci-fi, furry creatures, and fantasy. While some episodes are free, it's tough to muster the will to shell out for paid content based on the quality of the freebies available.
The biggest head-scratcher is the fact you can't build your own stories on your iOS device at all. The storybuilder function in the app punts you to the website, which then informs you that you can't use it from a mobile device. You'll have to hop onto your computer to actually do anything creative with this platform, which largely defeats the purpose of having such an app. Even if you do muster the patience to give it a go, the editor itself is pretty unintuitive and glitchy to use.
The bottom line. NARR8 is a neat idea that has potential — assuming the quality and breadth of content improves. But it also won't get better without improvements to the storybuilder interface and the app itself.
iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5.1 or later
Artwork and animations are impressive for some story episodes.
No in-app story editor. Can't create stories on mobile device at all. Quality of current stories is spotty at best.