All comic book super heroes worth their salt have an origin story, although some, such as Superman’s, are more well-known than others. In The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story Disney Digital Books brings the tale of Marvel’s bookishly intellectual Peter Parker to iOS. This universal app is geared toward a younger audience who may think of Spider-Man more as a potential Halloween costume or a toy action figure than a comic book character.
This book app is designed to appeal to a larger audience, although since this particular version of Spider-Man’s beginnings benefits from narration by Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee, any diehard fan boy (or girl) should find this treatment up to snuff.
Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben always told him that “with great power comes great responsibility,” but it’s not until Peter loses Uncle Ben in a preventable tradgedy that he realizes what those words mean for Spider-Man.
Fortunately for readers of this story, the only responsibility we have is to enjoy all of the app’s interactive elements. Users get to help generate the electricity in the very experiment that leads to Spider-Man’s creation!
There are also directives to shake the iPad, shoot Spider-Man’s webs to help him cross buildings and take out bad guys. (Parents don’t need to worry that the storyline is overly violent.) The app acknowledges the reader’s accomplishments as Stan Lee’s catchphrase “Excelsior!” appears on the screen each time the user successfully completes a task.
The story’s text, which is leveled for an early elementary school reader, is probably the app’s weakest area. The story’s simplicity is part of the app’s focus on a younger audience.
There are multiple ways to adjust the app’s settings to fine tune the reading experience. Read-to-me mode can be toggled on or off. Additionally, users can turn on Young Reader Mode, which eliminates the need to tap within pages to move the story along. Page turning can also be automated, but doing so disables the app’s interactive elements, and, unfortunately, some of the fun as well.
Download The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story from the App Store for $6.99.
What I liked: The interactive elements enhanced rather than overwhelmed the story. Getting to control Spider-Man at certain times in the story really draws the user in. The music and sound effects accentuate the app’s amazing graphics.
What I didn’t like: Readers looking for a story geared toward Spider-Man’s adult fans may find the text of the story too simplistic.
To buy or not to buy: The Amazing Spider-Man is a must for families with super hero-obsessed kids who are too young to watch the Spiderman movies.
- App Name: The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Books
- Developer: Disney Publishing
- Price: $6.99