Magic Town App Debuts On iPad: Summer Reading in Virtual World For Kids

in Entertainment (E)

[] London, United Kingdom and New York, NY - Magic Town, the first virtual world based on picture books, is now available on the App Store. Like the MagicTown website, the Magic Town app for iPad(R) is an immersive game where children read and play with popular picture books licensed from top publishers. The app has more than fifty stories at launch, with roughly fifteen new titles added each month. Just in time for the summer holiday, the Magic Town app gives children a mobile option to enjoy story time at home or on the go.

With hundreds of interactive touch points, the Magic Town app for iPad is especially easy for young children to navigate. They can tap on the big tree in the Magic Town landscape to meet Louis, an animated lion who presents a new, free story every day. They can also tap on any of the houses in town to discover picture book characters and related stories and games. There are houses devoted to fairy tales, fables, original titles and well-known series such as Aliens Love Underpants, Elmer, Little Princess and World of Happy.

Interactive touch points are also key to Magic Town's stories, or Livebooks(TM). Each Livebook has four reading modes. In "Play" mode, a child listens to a narrator and taps a flashing illustration to progress the story. With "Explore," a child touches the screen to answer story related questions that stimulate development. In "Read Together" mode, a child or adult reads the text and taps the illustrations to move forward. Finally, in "Watch" mode, a child listens to a narrator and watches the lightly animated pictures.

David Begg, Mindshapes CEO said: "The iPad is the perfect platform for Magic Town. Young children instinctively know how to tap on the screen to explore the landscape and enjoy the stories. What's more, the Magic Town app for iPad gives families an expansive, and easy to pack, collection of interactive stories to enjoy wherever and whenever. This is a great way to keep children reading during the summer holidays."

Magic Town's virtual world uses games technology to provide each child a customized, engaging experience. An algorithm tailors the selection of stories, as well as the questions in Explore mode of a Livebook. In addition, the town becomes more populated each time a child returns to read and play. Children thus feel as though they are helping to "build" their personal Magic Town.

Mindshapes, the interactive learning company that produces Magic Town, has licensed Magic Town's nearly 200 stories from leading children's publishers including Simon & Schuster, Oxford University Press, Hachette Children's Books, Egmont, and Penguin Group. Magic Town also has "digital first" titles from best-selling authors, including the Superfairies series from Janey Louise Jones, and Shrinky Kid from Ian Whybrow.

Nathan Hull, Penguin Digital Publisher: "The Magic Town environment offers a hugely creative channel for children to immerse themselves in. To deliver this via a subscription model, now available portably on the iPad, is groundbreaking for both traditional publishing, as well as for parents looking for brilliant digital storytelling."

Device Requirements:
* Compatible with iPad
* Requires iOS 4.0 or later
* 47.1 MB

Pricing and Availability:
The Magic Town app includes more than twenty free stories at launch. Additional stories are available via In-App Purchase for $3.99 / $5.99 / Euro 4.99 each. Parents also have the option of subscribing for unlimited new stories, plus the ability to set up profiles for up to four children. There are several subscription options: One Month: 7.99 / $11.99 / Euro 9.99; Six Months: 39.99 / $59.99 / Euro 44.99; and One Year: 49.99 / $74.99 / Euro 59.99.

Mindshapes' mission is to enhance the way children and adults learn through interactive gameplay. The company was founded in 2010 and has offices in London, New York and San Francisco. Mindshapes has ten apps for iOS devices available on the App Store. In 2012, Mindshapes will also release Language City, the first 3D language learning game for adults. Copyright (C) 2012 Mindshapes. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.