Nosy Crow's "Hansel and Gretel" | Touch and Go

Nosy Crow, known for its rollicking fairy tale retellings has announced it will no longer be producing apps. Hansel and Gretel is its penultimate production.
Nosy Crow, the celebrated publisher and app developer, has announced it will no longer be producing apps. The developer is known for its rollicking original fairy tale retellings (Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and Little Bear, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc.); and book-to-app productions of the work of Axel Scheffler (Axel Scheffler's Flip Flap Ocean, Flip Flap Pets, etc.);  among other playful, enchanting productions. Hansel and Gretel will be their last fairy tale retelling. Hansel and Gretel (iOS, $4.99); the penultimate app produced by the independent children’s publishing company Nosy Crow, is an updated rendering of the classic tale with challenging tasks, puzzles, and mazes woven into the story. Poverty and lack of food lead Hansel and Gretel’s weak-willed father to allow his domineering wife, the proverbial wicked stepmother, to take their children for a walk in the forest and abandon them.  After searching the forest maze to find their way home, the two children stumble upon the wicked witch’s candy cottage and are enticed inside. Hansel is captured and imprisoned. Having come through the forest maze together, Gretel must now tackle the tasks and solve puzzles alone in a seemingly never-ending series of rooms to free her brother. The tasks and puzzles are challenging and users cannot advance without helping Gretel complete them (viewers can retreat or move to another room and activity). This may prove frustrating for some children, particularly because when they are struggling to complete a task, the characters are stuck in a dialogue loop.  In addition, despite the generally charming visual renderings and narration, the sibling's facial expressions are sometimes at odds with the plot.  For example, the two children smile throughout their parents’ attempts to abandon them, despite the dialogue reflecting knowledge of their parents’ plan. A map lets viewers see where they are in the puzzle, but no clues are given to assist appsters. Ambient sound effects can be heard throughout. VERDICT The audience for this appealing artwork and narration may be at odds with the difficulty of the challenges.

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