An undistinguished story with plodding text and clashing interactions tries to walk the line between humor and horror and doesn’t succeed very well at either.
The Summers family takes a ride on the boat Lollipop on their vacation, but the weather goes bad, and they wash up on a creepy island with an angry volcano monster at its center. They split up into two groups and encounter strange, fantastical creatures like a Quetzalcoatl (winged snake), a Zillard (fire-breathing lizard) and a Catoblepas (horned, armored beast). The castaways seem doomed until one of the kids trips, accidentally dislodging a tree that has been stuck in the mountain’s foot like a splinter. The volcano becomes happy, the clouds clear and a rainbow appears. “Quickly, Man and beast became pals. They played, picnicked, and paraded about.” The app includes a plethora of features. Tilting the device hints at an unimpressive 3-D effect. Occasional starbursts appear on the screen, and if they’re touched quickly, a Halloween jack-o’-lantern appears with a creepy laugh and trail of black smoke. The characters have their own sound effects and animations, which sometimes interfere with the ability to activate the jack-o’-lanterns. There is a map icon on each page, and periodically a message appears that the viewer has “unlocked” a piece of the map, although the map doesn’t appear to change when that happens.
Tropical illustrations and cheerful music are at odds with the scary creatures and sound effects, making for a less-than-cohesive experience. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)