Marvel’s new movie, The Avengers, is set to release on Friday, and to go along with the movie, Disney Publishing Worldwide has published two new storybook apps that are based on the Marvel Origins series.
The apps, which include Avengers Origins: Hulk and Avengers Origins: Assemble! are interactive, aimed at children, and narrated by comic legend and creator Stan Lee.
Both apps have simplistic narration and clear story lines, making them perfect for younger children. Avenger Origins: Hulk tells the story of Bruce Banner and how he transformed from a meek mannered scientist into an angry beast, while Avengers Origins: Assemble! tells the story of Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and the Wasp, fighting for the future of Earth.
In Hulk, children and adults alike will enjoy the detailed artwork and interactive games. There are several spots in the story where readers are encourage to act out scenes in the comic, such as helping Bruce contain the radiation of his project, saving a teenager from being in the wrong place, and giving a Hulk roar to transform Bruce.
Assemble, like Hulk, has detailed artwork and the origin story of how Captain America was frozen in the ice, to emerge later after being discovered by Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man and Wasp, after fighting Prince Namor, who planned on conquering the human race.
There are also several interactive scenes in Assemble, where readers are encouraged to solve simple puzzles like matching up pictures, equipping super heroes with accessories, and melting the ice around Captain America.
Because some of the activities in these apps might be a bit difficult for younger children, there’s an option to skip them by hitting the blue or green arrow, which will advance the story
Stan Lee’s narration is properly enunciated and easy to understand, so children can understand the story with or without a parent to follow along. Each story is presented in English only at this time, but more languages will be added in the future.
The apps feature options to turn off the music, a table of contents for quick access to any spot in the story, an option to turn off auto reading, an option to turn on auto page turning, plus extras that will unlock special features like mini games.
Avengers Origins: Assemble! is slightly more expensive than the Hulk story because it includes a mini game, where players will drag weapons to fire on enemies in order to fight a series of battles that tie into the story. In this mini game, which could actually be a game in itself, kids can play as Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk, Captain America, or Thor, making it worth the extra cost.
What I liked: These are long and involved stories that feature timeless characters that have been popular with millions of children for years. It’s great to see these detailed origins stories that will enchant a whole new generation of children.
What I didn’t like: It wasn’t always clear what to do on the interactive pages. For example, in the Hulk story, I wasn’t immediately sure what to do to contain the radiation, but this is a minor complaint in what are otherwise fantastic apps.
To buy or not to buy: These apps are a must buy for any young comic lover.
- App Name: Avengers Origins: Hulk and Avengers Origins: Assemble!
- Version Reviewed: 1.1/2.0
- Category: Books
- Developer: Marvel
- Price: $3.99/$5.99