Skip to main content

Ivor game for you

I recently mentioned a few of the games that I had found made the iPad fun as well as a practical business and information tool - and I have been sent for review another game that has recently been added to the iPad store.
Ivor is moving just as you remember

If you are a certain age (or your children are a certain age) you probably have fond memories of the TV series Ivor the Engine. With its hypnotic voiceover, gentle imagery and rubbish animation it was somehow rather appealing (especially for those of us brought up on Noggin the Nog).

The Ivor the Engine game brings all that Ivor used to be to an iPad app. The sounds and look are perfect. The music, the voiceover, those proto-beatbox vocal chuffs from the engine, they are all there. There are even the joins in the paper of the backdrop. There's authenticity, isn't it?

The game play is straightforward with little hints popping up to start with to show you what to do. As you meander around Ivor's world, you will pick up items and hints of what needs to be done. So, for example, you might see written down somewhere (you need reasonable reading skills - not for the very young unaccompanied) that you must remember to take someone his shoes, then somewhere else you will happen on a pair of shoes. All you need do then is work out where that person is, and how to get there.

The 'how to get there' part is central to the game. A map shows you all the locations Ivor can travel to. To get to them you need to set the levers in the signal box correctly. Just what those codes are will be picked up at various points around the game, where you will be faced with little puzzles to help unlock information and find objects.

All in all, then, a straightforward puzzle-based adventure with a nostalgic setting if you knew the TV series. For me rather too many of the puzzles are memory based - I would have liked to have seen a bit more variety from the beginning. I also found it frustrating there was no way to hurry through the link scenes/narration - in the Back to the Future game, a swipe jumped you through to the next key point - this was very useful. I also couldn't find any way to save a game - so when you came back to it you had to start again from the beginning. This was very frustrating.

While I'm not quite sure who will play the game - it really needs the appeal of nostalgia, and is a bit slow paced for today's children - it is nicely put together and warmly entertaining, and at £2.99 is hardly going to break the bank. Find out more at its page on the iTunes site.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Mirror, mirror

A little while ago I had the pleasure of giving a talk at the Royal Institution in London - arguably the greatest location for science communication in the UK. At one point in the talk, I put this photograph on the screen, which for some reason caused some amusement in the audience. But the photo was illustrating a serious point: the odd nature of mirror reflections. I remember back at school being puzzled by a challenge from one of our teachers - why does a mirror swap left and right, but not top and bottom? Clearly there's nothing special about the mirror itself in that direction - if there were, rotating the mirror would change the image. The most immediately obvious 'special' thing about the horizontal direction is that the observer has two eyes oriented in that direction - but it's not as if things change if you close one eye. In reality, the distinction is much more interesting - we fool ourselves into thinking that the image behind the mirror is what's on ou