Chug the Bug is the latest Peak n’ Play Story App from MoBad Media. The story follows a young bug who doesn’t yet really understand what he is. He heads out to school for the first time, meets new friends, travels to amazing locations, and happens upon trouble as well…as any young “bug” would. With the help of his new friends, they overcome challenges and trouble, eventually forming a friendship that will last a lifetime, however long a bugs lifetime is anyways.
The app is very nicely created, with great graphics and animations, perfect background music, and a very well narrated “read to me section”. My kids loved the story, as explained above, and they were very interested to find out what was going to happen next. It’s funny that to start the story, Chug doesn’t know what kind of bug he is…while my kids are shouting “caterpillar” over and over. It didn’t have any bearing on the actual story, but they were just that interested and involved. Actually, when we got to the end they were wanting to know more about Chug the Bug, and I hope there are future tales to follow!
The interactions and animations are pretty well done, not the best, but well done. There are things to touch and interact with on almost every screen. From simple voices, flowers, body movements, to actually being able to move objects around the screen. Text appears very crisp and vibrant on the screen, outlined nicely so children can read along even if they do choose to have the excellent narrator read it to them. However, they can also hide the text box very easily by tapping a “T” in the upper right corner, giving them an unimpaired view of the images on the screen.
The only thing that really bothers me is the sorta-kinda 3D element. It’s something that at first, when developers started doing it, I thought was great, but now it just seems kind of a waste. It’s not that it looks bad or takes away from the app, but people see “3D”, they expect 3D…and these apps using this just can’t deliver it. Again, it’s not really a knock on the app itself (or others MoBad Media has done), but more so on the idea of 3D in these types of apps in this way. It’s interesting to start, but may be a little overplayed now.
Other than that, my kids and I really enjoyed reading and interacting with the story together, and they have gone through it on their own a few times, so it’s a keeper for us, and I recommend it to anyone who has young kids (4-7), as it’s a great story, it’s fun, has great graphics and animations, and is just the right length.
Find out more at: http://chugthebug.com/. The website also offers free games and coloring pages for kids to download.