Low-rent animations, illustrations, audio and overall design provide just what this sketchy bovine cross-country tour merits.
Inspired by television, naive Harry—repeatedly referred to as a cow, but male—sets off to see America in a sports car provided by his proud farmer. He meets along the way both “nice” people who, for instance, steer him away from a burger joint to a salad buffet and “not-nice” folk who rob him and refuse him service in a restaurant because they “didn’t like the looks of him.” Most of the latter incidents are only described, not illustrated in bland pictures. These, possibly trying for a 3-D effect but achieving only a clumsily layered look, float flat, broad-featured livestock and other cartoon figures over backgrounds that look like blurred-out photos. The audio tracks on most of the manually advanced pages play in a rigidly patterned sequence: a short sound effect or snatch of music, then the author’s low-key (optional) reading of the text followed by a single repeat of the sound. The minimal animations tend to be easy-to-miss items like a blink or a flash of headlights, and the sole touch-activated effect accompanies handfuls of snapshots of popular tourist sights (such as “Redwood Forest” and “Niagra [sic] Falls”) that can be flicked around. The app includes four short instrumental tracks that are uncredited and will only play on the “Info” page.
This road trip never gets out of the driveway. (iPad storybook app. 6-8)