Canine explorer Millie here builds a time machine to avoid running late with a friend’s birthday gift, but she soon finds herself chased by a baby T-Rex.
The first Millie Was Here app (Millie and the Lost Key, 2011) was a giddy mix of plain dog photos, overlaid graphics and hyperbolic storytelling that made the everyday life of a dog-about-town seem epic. That aesthetic continues here, but it’s been refined. There are still levers, dials, ribbons and springs that beg to be played with on well-built pages. But the story elements themselves have evolved nicely, especially a “Story Switch” feature that adds a reader-selected fork in the road leading to games that are part of Millie’s adventure. The navigation tray that slides up from the bottom of the screen is unobtrusive but genuinely handy. Other extras include a “Bedtime Mode” (which dims the screen and tones down the games) and clear instructions for parents, two app essentials that should be standard across the board. At the end of her first Indiana Jones–inspired adventure, it wasn’t clear whether her appeal would wear thin, but this latest story shows she’s still a great canine companion. Even the short video clips of Millie do not diminish the series’ homespun, handcrafted feel or lessen its playful touch.
Millie’s misadventures could continue indefinitely if the exuberant storytelling and attention to detail hold to this level of quality. She’s a good dog with a great set of apps. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)