Timmy Tickle is a charming interactive storybook application, less of a narrative than a short collection of activities that one can participate in alongside a friendly orange octopus named Timmy. Both iPad as well as iPhone versions are available.
Children will be drawn into this app by the first page when they are asked by both narration and text to tickle Timmy to help him with a sad mood. Although animated illustrations have become commonplace within applications, there is something a little special in the way Timmy moves, showing off the underside of his suction-cupped body as he giggles and wiggles that I find endearing.
Other moments include helping Timmy stay upright on roller skates, cleaning dishes at a sink full of bubbles, or helping Timmy with number recognition by tapping numbered-shaped balloons in order. A subtle orb is used as a highlight to help children make the most of these interactions – a nice touch.
One of my favorite sections is when Timmy asks for help playing the xylophone. Four songs are included such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Three Blind Mice” with the use of prompts that show children what notes to tap. It is especially nice that children can also choose to tap these keys themselves to create their own music as well as to deviate from the song they are playing in order to add their personal touches as well.
I also really enjoy the fruit dress-up game with Timmy, as here Timmy will change his shape and color to reflect one of five fruits such as banana, strawberry, or grapes, asking children to select the fruit he is emulating.
A really cute costume dress-up game is also included where children play with Timmy, as here kids need to match up an image to the dress-up costume Timmy changes into, complete with endearing details such as Timmy putting into place or removing his fake fangs when wearing his vampire costume.
Timmy Tickle ends nicely with Timmy’s eyes getting noticeably heavy, and children are asked to turn off the lights with a tap – a lovely way to end this fun book.
The only notes I have for Timmy Tickle is that I wish the narration would not come to a halt if the reader prematurely begin interacting with the page’s hotspots. Currently, children can easily miss some of the narration if they do not wait until the voiceover is over in order to investigate the page.
I am also not a fan of the “raspberry” sound used to demonstrate when readers choose an incorrect answer during the fruit and costume games. I may be more sensitive to this sound in general – a sound my son uses that we have a zero-tolerance for based on its rudeness as a whole, so I may be overly disappointed with this sound choice, but I believe there are better sound clues for a missed answer than this.
Even with these notes, children will have a lot of fun with Timmy Tickle. It is nice to see an animal like an octopus, not thought of typically as cuddly, get this level of attention in a storybook. The act of tickling and interacting with him in general will be fun for all.
Released: 2012-05-31 00:00:00
Description from the DeveloperTimmy Tickle is an interactive story app for children aged two to four and introduces a colourful animated octopus who loves to play and learn. The app also features a stunning paint section, where children can colour Timmy's adventures and share with friends and family.
See the App demo video here: http://www.nimblebean.com/index.php/about/
PLEASE NOTE: THIS APP IS FOR iPHONE AND iPOD TOUCH ONLY. PLEASE SEARCH FOR TIMMY TICKLE TO FIND THE iPAD VERSION.
* * * *
# Featured in Apple's New and Noteworthy Section
# Received a Kirkus Star from Kirkus Reviews
# Featured in Top 15 Book Apps – Most Exceptional Use of Animation on DigitalMediaDiet.com
# Featured in "Great iPad Apps for August" on Apps4Kids.com
# Featured on StylishiPadApps.com
* * * *
☆ "A play date with this cheerful little octopod will provide several educational opportunities, but it’s Timmy’s jovial disposition and his appetite for adventure that will likely keeps kids coming back for more. Eight high-fives for a truly splendid effort." - Kirkus Reviews / Awarded a Kirkus Star!
☆ "Timmy Tickle is a ticklish, dishwashing, costume-wearing, color-changing Octopus who is sure to entertain your kids." - AppAdvice.com
☆ "The graphics are high-quality 3-D computer generated images, the likes of which Pixar would be impressed with." - PadGadget.com
☆ "With computer animation this cool, even older readers will have a hard time not paging through this app at least once (or finding a little kid to share it with as an excuse to play with it again themselves)." - Digital-Storytime.com
* * * *
The story, read by West End star Gina Beck, currently playing Glinda in Wicked, tells kids about Timmy and let’s them join in with his favourite activities.
By touching and tapping the screen children can:
★ cheer Timmy up by tickling him
★ match which fruit he’s imitating
★ play nursery rhymes on Timmy’s xylophone
★ learn to count with his colourful balloons
★ help Timmy wash up and spin-dry plates (trying not to smash them!)
★ make him roller-skate (and help him up if he falls)
★ discover Timmy’s awesome costume collection
★ help dim the lights so Timmy can get some rest for next time!
As well as learning and playing with Timmy children can also colour in eight different Timmy adventures. The pictures can be saved to iPhoto so parents can share their childrens' creations with friends and family on Facebook or via text/email.
* * * *
What's new since you launched the iPad version last year?
✓ A completely new paint section where kids can paint Timmy's Adventures to save and share
✓ New and improved navigation to stop accidental page turning
✓ Lots of new animations and interactions including more giggles!
✓ Revamp of the washing up page, so focus is on cleaning not smashing : )
✓ New functionality on the balloon page for an improved learning experience
✓ Direction arrows so kids can learn four different Nursery Rhymes on Timmy's xylophone, which Timmy can then play back!
✓ A more game-like fruit matching section and costume page, where kids identify which fruit or character he is imitating.
✓ Success chimes when page activity is completed correctly
* * * *
If you have any problems with the app please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you as soon as possible!
* * * *
Timmy Tickle is brought to you by Harriet Pellereau, sister of Inventor Tom (winner of The UK Apprentice 2011). The story, graphics, animation and development have been a labour of love to bring Timmy to life.
If you have any suggestions on how I can make my App better please do get in touch at email@example.com.