Treasure Island: An amazing iPad version of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic
The iPad, tremendous for many reasons, showcases some of its magic when it comes to education and experiencing literature in new ways. Serving as the perfect bridge between old and new, traditional and modern, books re-imagined for the iPad – even those you’ve read before – can be just compelling as the original.
Of course to capture the imagination and attention of all, books for the iPad, including those which are interactive apps, require proper execution. Space Dog’s vision of Treasure Island is a tremendous example of a developer creating a perfect way to bring a literary classic to the iPad and in the process capturing the imagination of readers young and old alike.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island first published as entire book 1883 is one of the great adventure stories in English literature. For those unfamiliar with the tale, Treasure Island follows the exciting, sometimes disturbing, tale of pirates on a whatever-it-takes quest to acquire hidden treasure.
Unlike many other books that are more interactive, Space Dog’s Treasure Island can best be described as an enhanced book.
As an enhanced book, you’ll find no animated scenes, in-story games, or other gimmicks offered in other stories. Rather, the book offers full-page illustrations at the beginning of every chapter containing a small amount interactive elements.
Throughout the remainder of the book, there are additional illustrations – some full-page – that allow for limited interaction. The illustrations are excellent, featuring vibrant colors and a design that acts in perfect tandem with the story’s theme.
Further, there’s intricacies in the illustrations that add an additional element of fun to the story. For example, one scene shows the Admiral Benbow Inn at a distance with animated waves crashing on rocks and smoke rising from the chimney. It’s a small touch, but demonstrates the care Space Dog took in creating the app, and the love they have for taking a classic tale and making it appeal to a new generation using the iPad’s features and capabilities.
A small downside to the app for fans of the original story is that it offers an abridged version of the book. The original book is over 340 pages, so one can see why it Space Dog scaled back the story for their app, but some may find Space Dog’s abridged version may not do the original justice.
That said, Space Dog has created a truly wonderful version of Treasure Island, one I enjoyed reading from start to finish, and one I suspect all will enjoy reading as well.