If it’s atmospheric you’re looking for, iPoe doesn’t disappoint. As the developer promises, “music, illustration and interactivity…invite you to dive into the darkest corner of the human soul.”
Subtitle: The Interactive and Illustrated Edgar Allan Poe Collection
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Illustrator: David Garcia Forés
Soundtrack by: Teo Grimalt
Developed by: Play Creatividad
Platform: iOS, requires 4.3 or later
Gr 9 Up-Three of Poe’s short stories—“The Oval Portrait,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Masque of the Red Death”—are showcased in this app along with a “Sketchbook” and a “Biography.” Illustrations are dark, which, along with the background noises and excellent soundtrack, lend an appropriately creepy mood to this digital collection. No narration is available, but English, Spanish, or French versions of the tales are provided.
Screen arrows and a menu icon allow for easy navigation. Interactive features range from a skeleton that bursts apart when touched to a spotlight effect that uncovers different areas of an illustration as it roams the screen. Both of these effects are found in “The Tell-Tale Heart”; the first is related to the story, but is somewhat distracting as it’s tempting to play with the bones that become disengaged at touch. The second feature fits in nicely with the ambience created by the tale. Slight, haunting animations (flickering candles, a swinging pendulum, etc.) are found throughout.
The biography provides basic information about the author, but is awkwardly worded, perhaps due to translation. (“Born as Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts, 1809, he was orphaned and abandoned to his own luck while still a child along with his two brothers.”).
Viewers can shade in the drawings from the stories found in the “Sketchbook.” While the quality of these illustrations is high, the exercises don’t add much to the iPoe experience. Images of scantily clad women make this collection appropriate for an older audience.—Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ