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by Daniel Defoe & developed by Bee Gang

Age Range: 9 - 11

Pub Date: Dec. 15th, 2011
Publisher: Bee Gang

A drastically abbreviated and uncommonly inept version of the classic survival tale.

Crusoe’s paraphrased narrative sweeps through the original’s major events up to the stranded traveler’s rescue—then on the last page suddenly cuts to a scene from Defoe’s lesser-known sequel for a one paragraph account of Friday’s death. The classic tale has been slashed to 15 screens of large text that is well-stocked with typos and interleaved with clumsy, sometimes irrelevant tilt- or touch-sensitive cartoon illustrations. Interactive effects include a “shooting gallery” in which the rifle points away from the moving pirate and a platter that inexplicably slides back and forth on the table in Crusoe’s shack. There are several screens on which foliage that can’t be completely moved aside covers parts of the text, and the superfluous firelit set of grimacing “cannibals” and flickable skulls have nothing whatsoever to do with the accompanying narrative. Furthermore, the menu’s index icon opens a tiny window almost impossible to scroll, and (in this version) the change-language icon shows only an option for English.

Readers themselves will be in need of rescue from this abominable adaptation. (iPad storybook app. 9-11)