My daughters are both really into My Little Pony right now, especially my younger one who is almost four year-old. They have a bunch of the toys (mostly from Happy Meals) and love to create their own pony adventures.
Needless to say, they practically tore the iPad from my hands at the chance to play My Little Pony: A Canterlot Wedding, which combines the ponies with princesses and a wedding…in other words…a little girl’s dream come true!
There is going to be a Royal wedding in the kingdom of Canterlot between Princess Cadence and Shining Armor (who is Twilight Sparkle’s older brother for those of you not in the know). Princess Celestia has tasked each of the ponies with a special job to do to get things ready for the big day. Applejack needs to make all the food and drink for the wedding feast. Rainbow Dash will light up the night sky with a Sonic Rainboom, just as the bride and groom exchange vows. Rarity needs to design the wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses. Shutterfly is responsible for the music and Pinkie Pie is in charge of the reception. Finally, Twilight Sparkles must oversee the whole operation.
The app was simple for the girls to navigate on their own. When the narration on a page has completed, the next page slides over a tiny bit and a chime sounds, indicating to the child that they need to swipe to go to the next page. If they don’t move it, the page twitches a little to remind them what they need to do.
The narration itself is nice and clear and there is great ambient sound which sets the mood of the scenes. The artwork is nice and colorful and the pages have some animation. Unfortunately we never actually get to hear the characters talk during the book, just the narrator. The text is nice and big (at least on the iPad release) and it is easy to read, however unlike some other digital books the words are not highlighted as the story is being read which was a bit of a disappointment as it would be a nice aid for reading comprehension.
The first twelve (out of twenty) pages of the book don’t have any interactive elements on them, which the girls found to be a bit of a bummer. They kept tapping things on the page to see if they would react, but nothing happened. Finally on page thirteen they got to start helping the ponies with their special tasks and that’s where My Little Pony: A Canterlot Wedding really gets fun for the kids. My 6 year-old has started to just skip the beginning pages and jumps right to the interactive parts.
First you help Applejack make either the cookies or decorate the royal wedding cake. If your child selects the cookies, she starts by dragging the correct ingredients to the mixing bow (select the wrong ingredients and Applejack will make some funny faces). Next it is time to roll out the cookie dough and cut the cookies using a variety of cookie cutters and then decorate them. If you choose to make the cake instead, you also must select the correct ingredients, then set the oven timer, then add icing, fruit, cream and a ribbon to the cake to finish it.
Now you must help Rarity design the wedding dress, by putting pieces on the ponyquin. And then help Fluttershy use her bird friends to compose a song. This is done by dragging birds (each of which makes a uniques sound) to a tree branch timeline.
Finally it is both Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie’s turns. Your child selects a shape (heart, flower, butterfly, etc) for Rainbow Dash’s Sonic Rainboom and then traces it with her finger. Now that the food, music and lights are done, it is time for Pinkie Pie to select the flowers. Simply drag your favorite flowers to the stems.
At the party your child gets to see all of the things they customized on the screen. The girls loved this part and thought it was “so cool” that all the stuff they designed was visible in the story. They loved that they could see the flowers and dress they chose, the cake they decorated and more.
All in all the girls have had a good deal of fun with My Little Pony: A Canterlot Wedding and have returned to it numerous times to try out new decoration combinations. They enjoyed seeing some of their favorite characters and helping the ponies with their tasks. However, the absence of character voices, unbalanced interactivity and lack of Universal app support are sources of disappointment. Your little My Little Pony fan should have fun with this one, though if you have multiple sized iOS devices I’d probably recommend getting the iPhone Release instead.