Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace is an interactive storybook app recapping the events of the first film in the Star Wars storyline. The story, which is narrated (though that feature can be turned off) lets users pan from side to side for an "extended view" with hidden bonuses on each page. There's also a game portion, letting kids enter a pod race and compete against A.I. opponents. There's the sci-fi violence you'd expect in a Star Wars film, but nothing graphic. The story, however, does talk about Anakin leaving his mother and features the death of a major character, just as the film does.
What's it about?
Players can read or listen to the story of The Phantom Menace, panning the screen back and forth to see everything being discussed and to unlock bonuses by tapping the screen. These bonuses begin to unlock biographies of characters in the story, something that can be completed by flying in pod races in a game portion of the app. In this area, players must maneuver a pod racer through one of three obstacle-filled courses, beating opponents and time trials by either using their device's accelerometer or through touch controls at the bottom of the screen.
Is it any good?
While Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is hardly a new film, it never had a decent storybook app. Disney does a good job of rectifying that with this, the first in its Star Wars: Journeys lineup. The story is told succinctly, and each page has enough interactive elements to keep young kids happy, without parents having to worry about the more violent moments of the film being recreated. The included pod racing game has varying degrees of difficulty, making it fun for both adults and kids. And the unlockable biographies of characters lend a sense of purpose to flying the races and hunting for unlockables in the story.
It's still the weakest of the Star Wars films, but it's a fun way for Star Wars obsessed kids to relive the film and participate in its most memorable moments as they wait for the next installment.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the importance of family, and how Qui-Gon loved Anakin as a son even though they aren't related by blood.
Families can also discuss the story's violent moments and whether they were important to the story.