This is an app of two parts with the aim of encouraging children to develop literacy skills. In the first, play and explore your environment as a baby animal. In the second, your previous activities are turned into a written story that can be read by parent and child together.
There are apps that enhance the telling of stories; there are apps that let children modify stories, but an app that writes a story about your character's actions in the app? That’s an original and interesting concept.
Safari Tales gives you control of a personality filled baby elephant to start with, although others are playable later. This elephant is cute, well animated and fully controllable by the player. On starting the day’s adventures you are given a task by a talking meerkat such as to find a baby animal or to play on some water slides.
Using the simple on screen controls you then wander through the beautifully realised environment. Jungle paths, dark caves and lush open plains are atmospheric and inviting of exploration. Certain paths are signposted to help with navigation. It can take a while of walking to get to places but there is always the opportunity for distraction. Your animal can be encouraged to do tricks, can be painted in berry juice and can find items along the way. Children can also experiment with the construction of written queries by asking their meerkat guide questions, and from these can learn facts about animals and how to get to their destination.
Whether you succeed in your task or not, a tap of the home button ends the exploration and takes you to your own Safari Tale. Here the app is transformed from a fun app where you play with animals to a literacy development tool.
Using whatever name you have given to your animal, and based on what you did on your earlier travels, the story will unfold. If your character stopped to try the wrong type of food it will be in the story. If your character stopped to play with their colouring that will be in the story. The environments you travel through and the activities you undertook are all described in a written story complete with evocative colourful pictures.
This is a wonderful mechanic as children are encouraged to read how their actions are turned into a written story. They are further involved in the tale as certain key words, such as adjectives, can be changed for alternatives to see how they change the mood of the writing. These stories are then saved for future reading either alone or with a parent.
This really is an app that gets the most from your tablet, both in concept and execution. The idea of turning your gameplay into a story is inspired and the graphics, sound and controls allow this idea to be effectively realised. The graphics do push older devices to the limit and owners of these may see some lagging and the occasional freeze.
This is an app with the potential for considerable longevity. There is a huge amount of content in it and things to find and do, with more promised from future updates. Parental control is thoughtfully considered and they can set a time limit on its use, the reading age of the player and an email address to receive notifications of a new creation by their child.
Safari Tales is a superbly crafted app built around an ingenious idea that your children will love.
From the Developer
Join five baby animal friends on an enchanting African adventure packed with fun, facts and unique stories on each and every play.
Safari Tales follows in the fossilised footsteps of the award-winning Dino Tales and opens up a world of exploration, learning and story-telling across the African savanna.
Seen through the eyes of five cute baby animals, Safari Tales sets young safari adventurers free to explore a fertile African world. There is a multitude of games to play, fossils to be found, and stickers to be collected. Discover thousands of facts by asking our wise, talking meerkat, Darwin, all your questions about safari animals.
Safari Tales is more than a game, it is also a beautiful storybook and animal encyclopedia! Children are both adventurer and storyteller – Safari Tales captures each play session and turns it into a delightful Storybook to be shared and read with parents and loved ones.
Start your adventure today!
• Game Features •
- Fill a Storybook with your own adventure Tales, to be personalized and read with others
- Wake five baby animals to play with and nurture
- Discover a world teeming with safari wildlife
- Use the Word Wheels to build questions about the animals to ask Darwin the talking meerkat
- Explore a vast world filled with caves, forests, rivers and an enormous ant hill
- Enjoy the Mud Wallows, Sunset Savanna, Catapult Canyon and so much more
- Get creative with the Berry Blaster and make your little safari animals stand out from the rest!
- Collect stickers, minerals, and fossils to add to your Sticker Book collection
- Learn Swahili words
• Parent Features •
Parent Corner is a secure environment, controlled by a pin code, where you can:
- Choose the length of time your child plays the game
- Set your child’s reading age to personalise the game to their reading skill
- Receive email notifications when your child has created a new Tale for you to read together
- Get help and advice about playing the game with your child
In Safari Tales, your child will:
- Develop storytelling skills
- Share each new Safari Tale with family and loved ones
- Learn to build sentences while playing with vocabulary, language and synonyms
- Create questions to ask our unique talking meerkat, Darwin
- Discover 1,000s of facts about safari animals
- Learn some words in Swahili!
Reviews for the first game in the Tales series, Dino Tales:
"A ground-breaking dinosaur app that blends gaming and reading." USA Today
“Dino Tales is the perfect expedition for families.” Fathers Quarterly
"So many questions to keep the most inquisitive child happy.” Tired Mummy of Two blog
"A revolutionary game that uses the child's gameplay to create a storybook." TechwithKids
"Simple interactivity mixed with bounteous creativity.” A Pocket Full of Rye
Recipient of the PTPA award and approved by Moms with Apps
• Supported devices: iPad 2 and above, iPhone 4S and above, iPod Touch (fifth generation) •
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