Review of the ‘Condor’ app written by Arcritic.

The Condor is what it is. An entertaining and beautifully designed augmented reality (AR) animated series for the young audience. The thing that is done, it does it really well.  It boasts charming vibrant visuals, funny animations, loveable characters, has nice touch (not overused) visual effects and it has its nice unexpected moments.

A week ago I was tweeting about how much I desire to see a long TV series in Augmented Reality. Well, today I came across a new animated AR series called “The Condor”.

Cartoon condors sitting on a tree in Augmented Reality
Look at those cute condors sitting on a tree in my living room 🙂

The developer used Apple’s ARKit technology (for iOS) and Google’s ARCore (for Android) to deliver an immersive Augmented Reality storytelling experience like no other.  It was designed to transform your place into a living theatre were a funny and entertaining story takes place.

The series tells the story of Tonio, a Colombian condor who can’t fly because he is very fat and afraid of heights. Of course, it’s kind of strange that a bird can’t fly, but no worries, this is what friends are for and Tonio’s friends are here to help him out. Of course the sooner the better because there is also the hungry wolf who has long dreamed of tasing some roast Tonio. Once his friends have decided to help him out, everything starts to go wrong.

Condor running away from a hungry wolf
Poor condor, hopefully, he won’t get eaten by the hungry wolf.

As of the time of writing, only the first episode is available. I watched it fully and really enjoyed it. It\s aim for kids, but this storytelling experience has a great touch of humorand unexpected turn that made me enjoy it as an adult as well.

The app uses animations and narrated by a woman’s voice. It’s also interactive, and at each section of the story, the user can tap on the scene to trigger an animation.

The story was designed with beautiful visuals and animations. It intelligently uses the vertical space, visual effects and animations to immerse the user and deliver a very special and original viewing experience. I really liked the animations of the grass when Tonio was running from the wold and how suddenly a huge Boing airplane appears out of thin air in the living room when Tony’s friends decided to teach him how to fly. The animations are cute and funny and the characters adorable and loveable.

Condor grabs wolf in the air, The Condor app screenshot
My cat also found Tonio to be quite tasty.

Saturn Animation Studio, a Canda based company, has a long experience in delivering great digital Fairy Tails to children.  Using AR as a medium to deliver a Fairy Tale storytelling experience was definitely a necessary step in order to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies that help deliver great digital storytelling experiences.

Having said all that, the first episode is very short. Considering that the second episode is yet to be unlocked, the experience felt lacking and somewhat too short. You only just start getting familiar with the characters and the first episode is over before you know it. Now what, I need to wait how long for the next episode that will probably be over in a few minutes.

This is not the first Augmented story, I also reviewed an app called Augmented Stories which I greatly enjoyed. Although Augmented Stories’ story was very well written and told, I found the “The Condor” more fun, engaging and visually more appealing in AR.

When I tweeted about how much I want to see an animated TV series in Augmented Reality, I wanted something that will appeal to adults as well, something like episodic “Toy Story” movie like series. I also prefer having each episode played two times a week, so I know exactly when it is released.

Having said that, The Condor is what it is. An entertaining and beautifully designed augmented reality (AR) animated series for the young audience. The thing that is done, it does it really well.  It boasts charming vibrant visuals, funny animations, loveable characters, has nice touch (not overused) visual effects and it has its nice unexpected moments.

I  personally found the interaction to be very limited. Furthermore, I think it could have been so much more entertaining if there was an option for the user to make decisions that affect the story. I know it takes much more work, but adding this type of interactions could have made me enjoy it much more. I think users will love having the option not just to interact with the live scene in the living room, but also knowing that they can decide how the story ends. This makes the experience more immersive, fun and delivers a higher replay value.

Conclusion

The Condor is a great app for children. If I was a parent, I would definitely want to surprise my child with this great little AR experience. Why not instead of telling him the regular story from a book, surprise him with an Augmented Reality one?

I think children will love this type of storytelling experience, especially if it’s made so well like The Condor is.Judging by the images on the app store, the second episode is going to be even more entertaining than the first one—and I can’t wait to try it out.

You can download The Condor ARCore Android version here and the ARKit version for iOS here.

 

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