Upgrade Soul Review
The beginning of a new sci-fi series on iOS
Upgrade Soul is an interactive sci-ficomic about an elderly couple who invest in an experimental therapy to rejuvenate the human body, with one condition: that they be first in line to receive it. Unsurprisingly, there are serious complications and the characters find themselves changed forever. The story is by Ezra Claytan Daniels, an American writer and illustrator of some critical acclaim. Upgrade Soul has a lot in common with his printed graphic novel The Changers, which was about time-travellers meddling with human evolution.
As a story, Upgrade Soul is very good, managing to flesh out the main character of venerable science buff Molly Nonnar in the first chapter, and lay foundations for others, before ending on a dramatic twist. The illustrations are beautifully drawn, with a fine level of detail, and the story is also enhanced with a rich score by musician Alexis Gideon. The first chapter is £1.49/$1.99, with subsequent chapters available for the same price in-app. There will be 18 overall, with chapter two available now, but you can also pre-order chapters two to six at a special rate.
As an app, the user interface flows very easily, with panels of the comic appearing, disappearing and moving around the page with a simple tap. While subtle animated features, such as blinking eyes, work very well, the comic’s 3D effect is rather awkward.
As you tilt the screen left or right, the perspective of the comic shifts in the opposite direction, vaguely conveying a sense of three dimensions. This means when you shift your position while reading, the screen will oscillate wildly and interrupt the narrative. However, this is easily overcome as the 3D effect can be switched off. The first chapter also lacks any extras, but they are promised in future instalments.
An exciting story with great illustrations, this interactive book is worth the read.
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