Bartleby's Book of Buttons Vol. 1: The Far Away Island

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Bartleby's Book of Buttons Vol. 1: The Far Away Island App Poster Image
Loads of interactivity in an imaginative virtual storybook.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

There's no voiceover, so an adult must read the text to younger kids, but even toddlers can have fun figuring out what all the different buttons do when pressed.

Violence & Scariness

A volcano erupts, spewing fiery rocks into the air. That's the scariest bit.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bartleby's Book of Buttons Vol. 1: The Far Away Island is a short, but incredibly imaginative and fun interactive storybook about a man who collects buttons. Any time he finds himself in need, he tries pressing some of those buttons to see how they will affect his situation. There may not be too many pages in this ebook, but each one is loaded with a lot of interactivity. Note that there is no voiceover, though, so pre-readers will need a parent or older sibling along for the ride.

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Is it any good?

The best part about BARTLEBY'S BOOK OF BUTTONS VOL. 1: THE FAR AWAY ISLAND's very long title is the "Vol. 1," because once you play with this app, you'll be eager to see more. Each page of this book is packed with buttons, levers, switches -- even a pump -- and there's a whole lot of fun to be had in trying them all out. But those interactive bits are for more than just exploration -- they affect the story. In order to move past each page, you need to fix, change, or reshape Bartleby's environment in some way. And figuring out which buttons to press, in what order, is how you do it. This is just as much a game as it is a book.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release date: August 6, 2010
  • Category: Books
  • Publisher: Octopus Kite
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.2 or later
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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