Extending the bestselling print version’s ingeniously interactive contents, this somewhat overheated app offers 15 challengingly abstract games built on unevenly colored, frenetically spinning dots and circles in various primary hues.
Other than the title page/publication information and a labeled “Return to Home” icon that appears when the screen is not touched for several seconds, the only text is the sometimes unhelpfully allusive ("Yum Yum"?) game titles hidden beneath rows of dots on the contents screen. Users are left to discover for themselves in each game whether their tap-created dots will fall or fly, change color or explode, make noise or draw lines—or even respond differently (as many do) with successive touches. In addition, the dots in “Studio” and “Rain” are tilt-responsive, though similar arrays in other games are not, which may cause confusion (for adult players at least). The jiggling “keys” lined up in “Free Play” not only chime single musical notes (or cacophonous noises, depending on the color) when touched, but can be knocked against one another with a swipe for more complex compositions. Though too much exposure to the flickering visuals may cause overstimulation (or headaches), young children comprise only part of the audience that will find all this abstract, experimental play beguiling.
An invitation to play that lacks the simplicity of its print forebear but has its own charms. (iPad game app. 4 & up)