Reviewed by Mary

A Charlie Brown Christmas is a universal app from Canadian based developer Loud Crow Interactive. This much anticipated app has been both iPhone and iPad app of the week, and after reviewing it I can see why.

This is a real taste of nostalgia – featuring both the pictures and audio from the classic Christmas movie, with the addition of narration by Peter Robbins, who was the original voice of Charlie Brown. You can switch the narration on or off and the text is highlighted as it is read. The original music from the movie plays in the background and a nice feature is that you can control the music volume independently of the narration. Version 2.0 of the app added the director’s cut as a free in-app purchase. I would recommend installing this before starting to use the app as it adds 4 scenes, 2 activities and an extra carol.

At first glance this app appears a fairly simple interpretation of the movie. It has a retro 2D feel to it, and you can move the characters by touching them – making them slide skate or spin on the ice in the first scene. You follow along with Charlie Brown and Peanuts and he tries to discover the true meaning of Christmas. On closer examination there is a lot more to this app than just a slice of nostalgia – it has some really fun, cool interactive elements too. Snow is constantly falling, setting the mood, and tapping on the falling snow releases beautiful snowflakes. You can also help Snoopy to decorate his doghouse, track paint fingerprints everywhere, and even play the piano along to Lucy and Linus’s theme song and Jingle Bells. My favorite game involves helping Linus knock tin cans off the fence with snowballs thrown from his blanket – it is fun and a real challenge to knock them all down.

As well as the story you can decorate a Christmas tree – choosing a Charlie Brown tree or another from the lot. There are in-app purchases available to decorate the tree (the full set costs $1.99), but without buying them there are still plenty of ornaments to choose from, plus a bunch more that are unlocked when you play with the app.

I really enjoyed this app – this is one that both parents and children will enjoy playing again and again. It stays true to the original, but at the same time adds some really creative touches. Although this is one of the more expensive Christmas apps on the market, in my opinion it is the best. A true gem, highly recommended and a must have addition to your Christmas app collection.

Category: Books
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2.2 or later.
Cost: AU$6.99 A Charlie Brown Christmas - Loud Crow Interactive Inc. (108MB)

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If you would like to win a promo code for this app, simply tell us why you want it in the comments below. The lucky winners will be chosen through a few days after the publish date of this review and the code will be emailed to them. This giveaway is open to everyone worldwide and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Good luck!

Congratulations to Michelle McNutt!