Gorilla Band is the latest app written by Graham Nunn and brought to the app store by Australian developer Wasabipro. They also created the popular Larry Lizard series of apps and Ten Giggly Gorillas; the gorillas are back in this app, but this time they make their appearance in full 3-D animation and star both in a story and music videos. The app is child-friendly as it has no in-app purchases or adverts, and the external links are in a childproofed. The story has read-to-me and read by myself options. The narration is very well done by an Australian narrator and has word highlighting as it is read. This is an adorable, interactive, 3-D animated tale, accompanied by jungle sound effects and beautiful music.
The story is set in the jungle, where a gorilla named Melody McCann runs the Jungle Music School. Miss Melody it teaching two students – a pianist and a violinist, but neither are very enthusiastic students. Nearby another gorilla is playing the drums, and one playing the guitar joins him. Miss Melody invites the four to start a band, recognizing that whatever style of music they play, the most important thing is that they have fun doing it. Others playing the saxophone, double bass and conga drums gradually join the students; and they learn how much fun music can be. One more gorilla wants to join the band, but she can’t play any instruments, so Miss Melody encourages her to become the band’s singer. At the end of the story the band takes to the stage and performs their theme song.
One of my favorite features of the app is that each gorilla will play a variety of different tunes on their instrument, each new song, and additional dialog, is triggered by tapping on the gorilla, and the child needs to let one finish before they can start the next one. There is also an option in settings to stop any of the interactive elements from working until after the narration on that page is complete. This is a great idea to prevent children getting carried away looking for interactions, and missing the story. As well as the story the app contains two music videos, a dance video and a game. The dance video is on YouTube, and so has a parental lock. The music videos are The Gorilla Band Song – which is very catchy, and The Sleepy Song, which is good for bedtime. In the game children practice matching the correct instrument to its name or sound. This app is very well done and is sure to be very popular with pre-school and early elementary school-age children. The “Gorillas” in the app are very cute, but I do have to say that even though they have no tails they do remind more of monkeys than gorillas.
Overall this is a delightful app, engaging and entertaining, my children thoroughly enjoyed it. I can foresee hoards of preschoolers all over the country singing and dancing along to the videos! I think option to delay the interactions is a great idea, and one I’d like to see in more apps. This app is sure to delight and entertain young readers, but it also has a message: that learning to play music can, and should, be fun – you need to practice but you can have a lot of fun doing it!
Code drop : 1. http://redeem-now.com/d23bcbab7eb9
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.