Backyard at Twilight: A Stella and Sam Adventure is a new kids app by zinc Roe. It’s an animated 10 minute story with three mini games. The story is charming, well animated and beautifully illustrated. I had the chance to test it with my three year old daughter Luna. She was immediately interested and explored the app through and through. She enjoyed the story but was especially fond of the three mini games included.
My daughter Luna was the most interested about the first mini game where you use a flashlight to seek bugs inside a tent. It’s creative and exciting activity, but it could use a greater variety of bugs. Still, as it is, my daughter immediately played it four times in a row and a few times the next day. Another minigame she enjoyed was a connect the dots game where you draw animal shaped constellations on the sky. When the dots are connected, an animal picture appears. My daughter was always excited to see what comes next and played it several times until she realized she has already seen all the different animals. I counted seven different animals. Just like the bug game, the constellation game is creative but would benefit from a greater variety of different creatures. In the third mini game you form basic shapes by catching fireflies. It’s cute but not as exciting as the first two. All three activities are interspersed between the animated segments and manage to create a feeling that you are actually taking part in the story. All in all Backyard at Twilight is a top quality package with wonderful atmosphere. I only wish there would have been more content.
Other Stella and Sam Adventures for the iPad are Rainy Days, Into the Snow and the upcoming Go-There-Square. Now that I’ve tried one, I’m eager to try the others when my daughter needs some quality entertainment.