Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Like all parents in the digital age, we have a couple of folders on our iPhones and iPads dedicated to our young children, filled with apps designed specifically for their growing minds. At first blush, Petting Zoo – an interactive picture book created by New Yorker cartoonist Christoph Niemann – seemed like one more cutesy app for our collection. But once we started playing with it, we realized that we were enjoying it almost as much as our little ones.
Once the show starts, you'll meet a variety of charming characters that can be poked, pulled, and twisted around the screen with hilarious results; but before you even get to the animals, Petting Zoo has a welcoming interface that entices you to explore it. Animals are drawn with an elegant simplicity using imperfect lines and thick strokes that respond smoothly to each gesture. In fact, nearly everything is hand-drawn and delightfully animated, from the rotating settings gears to the playful title screen, with subtle sounds and music adding a whimsical tone to each chapter. Even without colors – the occasional photo of a real-world object contrasts nicely with the crude drawings, but the animals are only composed of black outlines – the characters have an uncanny vivacity that transcends their two-dimensional world.
We enjoyed watching our kids learn how to manipulate the animals, and we were just as mesmerized as they were by the delightful transitions between animals. We each had our favorites that we kept returning to, but since each act is limited to just a few moves, we felt the repetition after a short while. And while we didn't mind (and our kids didn't notice) the lack of a story, we don't see Petting Zoo standing the test of time without a steady stream of updates.
The bottom line. Petting Zoo is one of those rare apps that brings out the kid in all of us.
iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 4.3 or later
Charming interface. Delightful drawings. Excellent responsiveness.
Somewhat repetitive. Short-lived fun.