Bottom Line: This app does what few classic story apps are able to do, stay true to a classic story while adding features to make it worth buying. Three Billy Goats Gruff is beautifully illustrated, packed full of games and gives users lots of custom options including turning off the games during reading time if your little one gets a little too distracted.
If you would like to download this app from iTunes($2.99), Google Play($2.99) or Amazon(Currently FREE), please click over to the developer’s web page for direct links:
This app has no ads but external links to iTunes and social media that are not parent-protected. The external links got to free downloads that have in-app purchases for the full version.
The opening screen features the three billy goats gruff posing for a pretty picture with yummy dandelions. The bottom left and right of the screen have curled up corners to mimic a well-worn book and the bottom center is an open book icon. Clicking on the picture of the goats brings our characters to life, while clicking the bottom left curl will show links for Pony Apps, social media and a contact button. In future pages, the bottom left curl takes users to the previous page of the story. The book icon opens page selection to skip around in the story as well as options to adjust sounds (narration, sound effects and music), language selection, settings for autoplay, disabling games or resetting the treasure chests. There is also a crown icon in this section that opens three “kingdoms” with explanations of and links to other classic stories in app-form by this developer. Clicking the lower right page curl will advance the story.
The story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff is followed well and tells children about the three brother goats that want to cross the bridge to have greener pastures, but first, they must work together to create a plan to defeat the Ogre that guards the bridge and would love a goat-flavored meal. The story text is shown and narrated with the option to replay, but there is no single word narration nor highlighted text for children to follow along. Illustrations are classically rendered and humorous usually with one of the goats doing what goats do best, eating. Touching the illustrations usually brings surprises to the users like frolicking goats or fluttering butterflies, so poking around the screen is encouraged. The book also has three treasure chests that can only be unlocked by finding all of the key-holding presents scattered throughout the story. Unlocking these chests rewards users with more games.
The games are numerous and not contained in a single section separate from the story. Users can color a photo of one of the goats, find the ogre hiding in a barrel, clean a room, build a bridge and the like while reading the story. Some parents may find this a bit much because games appear every several pages, but the developer lets users off the hook with that handy settings button that can disable the games if a simple story is wanted.
The app runs smoothly with no bugs found during this review. The layout is clean, options are clear and even gameplay is explained so the youngest users can enjoy poking around. My biggest problem while reviewing was finding zero parent-protection buffers. While many apps have the bare minimum of holding a button for several seconds, there were none in this app. In future updates, I very strongly urge the developer to add some, even though the links are for other apps by this developer, inquisitive kiddos like to see what they can do and most of the time, give the adults in charge heart attacks.
Overall, it’s a nice take on a classic story with great narration, illustration and smooth play that will make a nice addition to an app collection that kids don’t have free access to until extra buffers are in place.