The happy conclusion to a diminutive troll’s search for his parents (Urki, Beyond the Forest, 2012) replaces some of the opener’s kinks in language and design with new ones.
Offering smoother page turns than the previous episode—and lacking, for better or worse, its intrusive pinball-game extra—this continuation takes little Urki to the Temple of Answers. There, he learns that a certain evil sorcerer doesn’t even exist except as his own internal fears, so he goes back to where he started for a happy reunion and a perfunctory “final battle” with the requisite band of orclike Ghatnys. Readers can swipe to advance and tap an icon to return to the table of contents, but that’s it for interactive features. There is no audio narration nor, aside from faint rising glows and snatches of sound, any digital enhancements to the scatter of cartoon illustrations. Moreover, the wordy narrative, available in English or Spanish, not only still reads like a description of a video game, but along with a misspelled chapter head and some leakage from the Spanish text, the general quality of the writing takes a nosedive: “It was an enormous tower made up of thousands of small towers that were completely different”; “Suddenly, Cinzia came to a dead stop with no warning.”
Inexpertly translated, sketchily plotted in spite of an inflated word count and endowed with interactive effects that are, by current standards, anemic: skip it. (iPad fantasy app. 7-9)