Alizay, the redheaded pirate preteen of the Bonny Clipper, is always up for a hunt for treasure, especially when it’s with her loving dad, Capt. Rubberfoot (his peg leg is a plunger).
When their ship is becalmed near a mysterious isle, she faces a series of challenges that include a “Frogger”-like river crossing, a music game and secrets that are revealed on a treasure map. Throughout, Alizay stays upbeat and brave, collecting four needles that will reveal the secret of the island. In the best way possible, little is left to chance in the app. Illustrations are richly detailed, with cartoonish animation blending seamlessly with scenes that change perspective when readers tilt the iPad. For younger readers who may not be able to solve all the game’s puzzles, there are “Easy,” “Medium” and “Hard” difficulty settings, and most tough spots can be skipped to continue progressing in the story. There’s not much dazzle in the writing, but the app is more like a clever game with a nice back story than a straight storybook narrative. There’s a lot to Alizay’s adventure, so much so that it wouldn’t have been unreasonable if the developers had broken it up into multiple pirate apps.
Lucky for app bargain hunters, this one’s got it all: a plucky heroine, a funny parrot, lots of treasure and more than enough material to stave off boredom at sea. (iPad storybook app. 4-10)