The world is an amazing place – not just socially, or philosophically, or on an immediately visual level, with all the exotically varied environs that simultaneously exist within our reach. Our planet is amazing because at its very core, mindblowing stuff is happening everyday.
App developer Tinybop takes for granted that kids are both inherently curious about the inner workings of things, and avid explorers — and that a journey to the centre of the earth is entirely feasible (at least on screen).
Brand new The Earth app by Tinybop, part of the company’s Explorer’s Library series – which previously took us inside the human body and the biomes of a desert and deciduous forest – demonstrates, ‘firsthand’, that life (real life) is exciting and incredible; without a cartoony field guide to show you why.
Children aged four and up can watch, and actively engage with, unfolding scenes occurring on the planet’s crust, right down to the core. And there are absolutely no instructions; little fingers can intuitively make things explode, shift, rise and roll as they move through the physics-based animations. This specific type of interactivity is unprecedented in kiddie games – instead of a sand dune simply replaying the same motion every time a child touches it, its behaviour will change depending on how they touch it. One of the more popular scenes is a volcano that erupts when you push lava up its base. Depending on how quickly you push the lava, the volcano will erupt with various levels of intensity. “That’s like 100-times more interesting than playing a video,” says app developer Gutierrez.
The mechanics behind the bubbling mountains, zigzagging earthquakes and the erosive arctic waves (to name but a few natural wonders featured) isn’t explained for the user; the app is designed to prompt questions, not answer them. So kids can go back to their teachers to find out more. Or they could ask you (which is why Tinybop provides a trusty handbook for mums and dads to download and secretly, speedily read through).
You’ll no doubt learn a thing or three. Hundred.
Get The Earth by Tinybop, part 5 in Tinybop’s Explorer’s Series, at the iTunes store.