A poorly written story about a canine sheriff who investigates loud noises.
The title of this app is a little confusing. Is Koto, the broom-toting sheriff pup, going west (in which case there would be an “es” attached to “go”)? Or is the title a command (which would make it, “Koto! Go West!”)? Either way, Koto is at the mercy of an overbearing, disembodied narrator who continually commands him to investigate noises and shush them. In each instance, the narrator thinks she knows what’s making the racket; in each case, she’s wrong. For example, what she thinks is a shrieking eagle hunting for squeaking mice in the kitchen turns out to be a whistling teakettle. Suspected rattlesnakes are simply boot spurs, spinning in the wind. In terms of interaction, there’s not much here, unless tapping words to trigger narration or advancing pages qualifies. The pages in which Koto springs into action are beautifully animated, and his expressions are endearing. However, the screens between animated pages are static and silent, even though they’re full of phrases like, “Can you feel it? / The air is trembling with shaking noises.” The story ends with the narrator encouraging Koto to have some fun, now that he’s wasted his entire day chasing her whims.
Koto is both terribly cute and terribly written. He’d do well to drum up some writing help for his creators. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)