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Review: ‘March of the Dinosaurs’ for iOS

You may remember two Touch Press productions reviewed earlier this year: the stunning Gems and Jewels and the extraordinary Waste Land (T. S. Eliot). The latest release from Touch Press is another high-quality offering; March of the Dinosaurs combines spectacular images and animation with a compelling story that incorporates recent scientific findings.

March was produced in conjunction with National Geographic and Wide-Eyed Entertainment–-a team that our reviewer Elisabeth LeBris notes, brings together expertise in “technology, publishing, entertainment, and research.” The full details are below.

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Screen shot from 'March of the Dinosaurs' (Touch Press)

Title: March of the Dinosaurs
Published by: Touch Press LLC, in conjunction with National Geographic and Wide-Eyed Entertainment
Version: 1.0.0
Platform: iOS, requires 4.2 or later; an iPad exclusive
Price: $7.99

Gr 4-9–Prepare viewers for a screen-swiping adventure as they experience the late-Cretaceous winter journeys of two dinosaurs. Based on the TV special “Escape of the Dinosaurs” (2011), the story follows Scar, a young Edmontosaurus on his first thousand-mile migration, and Patch, a teenaged Troodon who stays close to his home range.

The tale opens in the Arctic at the end of the summer. Twelve chapters detail in words and film-quality pictures the difficult and often dangerous existence of these creatures. Although March of the Dinosaurs closely follows Scar and Patch in parallel stories, other animals also make an appearance in this heart-stopping production. It’s not a tale for the squeamish; our protagonists make it to the end of the story, but not so every creature in this blend of fiction and nonfiction at its interactive best.

The homepage acts as an illustrated table of contents. It features an aerial view of the habitats and areas traveled by the animals. Numbered scenes within the picture link to corresponding chapters. Effective sound effects and music extend the mood and experience as viewers move through the story. Animated, realistic 3-D pictures offer an up-close view of the dinosaurs. Readers can choose to turn the narration on or off at any time.

Viewers will be compelled to go deeper into the story and the added content and the production’s intuitive navigation allows for fluid movement between its elements. Extensions include short clips from the film, informative fact files, research notes, and links to the WolframAlpha engine, further differentiating this experience for a range of readers.

For children interested in dinosaurs or classes studying these animals, March offers a thrilling story, pages of facts, and an engaging educational experience.–Elisabeth LeBris, Joseph Sears School LTC, Kenilworth, IL

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