Story Patch

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Story Patch App Poster Image
Some control flaws in otherwise great story-building app.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

The tutorials provided are very thorough and the controls relatively simple to learn. However, the app's biggest flaw is in its touchy and twitchy system for resizing and placing images.

Violence & Scariness

The app does offer options of adding some scary or monstrous characters into your stories, but there's nothing inherently violent in the app.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Story Patch is a fully loaded story creator that allows kids to exercise their imaginations. Kids who need help with their ideas can use a "guided" story creation mode that will ask questions of the child and help him put a tale together. There are numerous images that can be used to create custom illustrations, but it should be noted that the controls for placing, moving, and especially resizing the images can be a bit glitchy at times. Kids who can already read will find the app more useful.

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Is it any good?

STORY PATCH lets kids fill the blank pages of a virtual book with their own words and custom-created illustrations that they can piece together from a vast library of images. It's a brilliant idea and especially effective in the way its "guided" mode helps kids work through writer's block by probing for ideas. Building the illustrations by layering several character and object images over a background of your choice is also fun and fulfilling. Unfortunately, kids can get frustrated by some glitchy controls. It's too easy to accidentally move part of a picture if your hand brushes against the screen. And trying to get a character to the right size (for perspective) can be a real chore -- a little pinch or stretch of your fingers can quickly make the image either grow or shrink far more than you want. With an update to fix these little issues, Story Patch can be a truly great kids' app.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release date: September 9, 2010
  • Category: Education
  • Publisher: Haywoodsoft, LLC
  • Version: 1.0.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.2 or later

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