Buckling swash to the max, doughty Princess Isabel sets out on a pirate adventure positively awash in tap- and tilt-activated action.
Screens of setup narrative are read (optionally, and in any of four European languages) in scenery-chewing, piratical voices. These alternate with interactive scenes played out with cartoon figures rendered in supersaturated colors. These pop up into view on an illustrated page and remain until a tap on the “next” arrow abruptly sucks them back out of sight. Relatively sedate activities include dressing Isabel in an appropriate disguise or assembling a jigsaw treasure map. Action-oriented viewers can also blast away at a sea monster’s tentacles, guide a pirate ship past various floating dangers—or not, which results in loud, spectacular explosions—and, with a fingertip, “hack” at increasingly heavy cascades of fruit hurled directly at the screen by a crew of gibbering monkeys. Ultimately, Isabel rescues an admiring prince, saves her ship and forces a rival pirate captain to walk the plank. Avast! Off to the next adventure. Young salts can skip the storyline entirely, thanks to a strip index that provides access to the game screens alone; they can also move on to appended sets of jigsaw puzzles and sticker albums, though most of these last are locked away behind a pay wall.
The bright colors, unusually vigorous animation and variety of digital games will spark many a “Yo Ho Ho!” (iPad storybook app. 6-8)