It’s science! Presented with plenty of buoyant, eye-catching graphics and cleverly designed interactive fun.
Plainly descended from a food processor but sounding like E.T. and sporting a “holo-projector” capable of throwing up tilt-responsive 3-D images when tapped, Bobo the robot squires viewers through introductions to 21 light-related topics. These range from the sun (and planets), color and fire to Thomas Edison, the human eye and bioluminescence. Opening either in succession or in any order thanks to a strip of thumbnail images, each single-topic screen features a tableau of animated cartoon figures (Bobo incinerating a marshmallow over a Fire to the amusement of a chortling caveman; a set of movable mirrors and a laser to explore angles of Reflection), a lively musical background track and an (un-narrated) introductory paragraph of basic information. Three-down insets on each screen add such features as a super-slow-mo video of lightning strikes, a touch-sensitive menu of Edison’s most famous inventions, narrated slide shows of neon shop signs and kinds of animal vision and one or more pages of additional explanation or quirky facts. The animations and sound effects are all cogent, comical or both, and from lighthearted opening tutorial to spectacular closing show of nighttime fireworks, there’s nary a dull nor uninformative moment.
A (literally) illuminating survey, with exemplary choice and use of digital enhancements. (iPad informational app. 7-10)