A nonexistent story and a mostly uninspiring template-built interface ground this app from the get-go.
The pwiggles, hairy creatures that look a little like fingerprints with long horns (or maybe ears?) on their heads, live on Pluto. Readers won’t learn anything of substance about them by reading this story, only that they prefer to do things in groups of two, five and eight. Gluggles, the scoundrels in the story, are Jabba the Hutt–like creatures that growl and grouse and prey on pwiggles. Mild potty humor permeates the story, as there’s some burping, regurgitating and lots of fart sounds. There is one redeeming element here: In a sea of profoundly wearisome apps that have been built using drag-and-drop tools, this one actually offers slight (emphasis on the word “slight”) improvements. For example, on a page where the pwiggles form a dance troupe, swiping one of them triggers a handful of acrobatic flip sequences. And tapping them often causes a lateral, paper-thin rotation. However, the monochromatic, one-dimensional illustrations don’t add even half an ounce of aesthetic value. There’s an index of pages that makes navigation somewhat simple, though the homogenous one-word page descriptions don’t give much of a clue where you’ll land. Unusual sound effects are plenteous, which might help to hold kids’ interest, but there’s no narration.
Pluto deserves better. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)