FableScapes is not a game. It is a create-your-own story image. Want that dragon defending a treasure test against pirates? Want your hero to fight the giant red kraken with an army of tiny dragons and parrots?? FableScapes is developed by Stefano Bonaiuti and is available on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad for $2.99 and a Lite alternative.
Wow, $3 for a story book app? Surely there is justification for this right? The music and major themes are fun enough. You have two different worlds, one with pirates and the other with a fantasy-based medieval setting. Each world gives you a different set of characters and props to use and overall, it’s a pretty good stylization of both themes.
The art is actually quite good. Most have animations like for the dragon breathing fire or the kraken that moves around. The art direction is actually quite appealing with lots of cartoony proportions and a particularly cute kraken monster. Each character or prop can be tapped to switch it to an alternative version, which greatly expands the list of items you can use. The environments are about 3 screens long so you can actually make a progressive story as you slide from one side of the scene to the other.
Interface could use some work however. When you place a prop or person, sometimes scaling them is difficult without some form of user interface like arrows or some sliding bar while you have an object selected. Having the items be clickable to change their animation does add a bit of interactivity to FableScapes. Overall, good art and great interpretations of the main theme.
I must say, FableScapes has a pretty limited lifespan. Once you set up one scene, that’s pretty much the rest of this app. With only two main themes and no ability to mix and mingle props and characters from one theme to the other, the app just feels limited. You can’t save screenshots or create dialog boxes for narration or for characters speaking. I’m sure with some more time, there will be more themes and item selections for each theme, but at the moment, $3 for FableScapes just seems a bit steep. This is definitely worth at least $1.99 and when they create 1 or 2 more worlds and add more user interface options, $2.99 isn’t that bad.
Remember, this is not a game app, utility app, or story telling app. This is a children’s do-it-yourself story book that has no words and only has 2 very long pages… do with that what you will. Great start but expansions are needed to justify the price. Keep an eye on FableScapes and definitely try out the free Lite version.
Here is a video demo of the FableScapes app on the iPhone
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