Ocean Forest is an absolutely brilliant app. It's visual graphics are beyond impressive, with 3D rotating views and accompanied sounds that make the learning experience all the more inviting.
Included in the app you will find a 28 page book. The reader will find themselves enmeshed among an underwater kelp forest, including living creatures and surroundings one might expect to find. The book pages are completely alive, as kelp sways – catching light as it filters down from above and while other ocean life passes by. It's magnificent! The view pivots around as interesting facts are covered about the sea life within – all very life-like. The reader has the options of, “read myself”, “read to me” and “record”. You can easily turn of the subtle background music and watery sound – but really, I doubt you will want to.
On each page of the book there is small book next to the copy. Tap on the book and words within the text, that may need further clarification will be underlined. Tap on any of the words to have it defined. Bright World eBooks advocates the importance of learning vocabulary and it's direct link with comprehension. This is a point I could not agree with more. I did find however that many of the definitions given could have been more simplified, as I found that there were more words to define in the definition than in the original book text. You may wish to go through the app with your child the first time and ensure of their full understanding, as misunderstood words pose a barrier in learning.
In the “Exploring” mode, one has the ability to move the screen around at will. Pivot in any direction and explore the bounty of life within. Again, all with subtle music and underwater life and sounds. Tap on any of the life forms and hear interesting fact about it. Additionally, if you can tap multiple times to learn ever more! The main view allows one a look during the day, with dappled light from above, that plays across the ocean life below. Or, one can tap the provided waterproof flashlight to see a “brighter” view.
Ocean Forest comes with 2 games: Retrieve Our Subs! And Mind Match.
In Retrieve Our Subs, the player uses a boat to clean up the ocean floor, all the while avoiding subs, fish and the like moving across the screen. In addition, one is given a question with three answers at game beginning. Next to the three potential answers is a sub with an A, B, or C on it. Retrieve the correct sub (while collecting trash) which answers the question correctly. Trash and subs collect give the player points. Hitting fish and incorrect subs takes them away. It's a fun and educational game! Choose from 3 levels of difficulty.
Mind Match is a matching game with three levels. Level 1: match the written word with the correct picture. Level 2: match the spoken word with the picture. Level 3: match the written word, spoken word and the picture. Points are gathered and subtracted depending on one's decision. I love the educational value to this game.
I have to say, this is one of the best apps I have had the pleasure of reviewing. It's educational value and fun gaming-like experience puts it right at the top of my favorites!
Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.