Anything but wooden

Combining the text of author Carlo Collodi’s classic children’s book with an audio component and ‘3D’ scenes, Italian publisher Avagliano Editore’s illustrated digital storybook aims to bring the story to life via interactive touchscreen content. Although it’s not quite as innovative as it could be, Pinocchio3D provides a competent enough take on the popular tale of the wooden boy.

The title is a little misleading, however; the interactive 3D illustrations simply employ a visual trick in which layered images shift – much like a lenticular – as you tilt your iPad in various directions. It’s a novelty, but the overall effect is lacking as far as the 3D claims go. The app also defaults to the Italian language settings, although switching it to English is fairly straightforward, while anyone after a contemporary interpretation of Collodi’s original story will be disappointed; the original, often dark tale is all that’s on offer here, both in the original Italian and a generally solid English translation.

Gripes aside, though, the English spoken-word audio recording is relatively engaging, and the new illustrations – accompanied by snippets of music and sound effects – provide a fun distraction from the 36 chapters of unrelenting text. A swipe of a finger might result in a rudimentary animation or physics effect amounting to the most basic of motion comics, at just 13 full-page scenes (32 in total), we’d have liked to see more, though.

Rated 3 out of 5

A diverting, if gimmicky, introduction to the world’s most iconic wooden boy.


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