Get hands-on with geology
Kids these days don’t know how good they’ve got it. Not long ago, while a science book might have been full of wonder, it was still a dusty tome. Earth Primer puts the forces of nature rather more overtly at your fingertips as you build volcanoes, create sand dunes and rockfalls, raise rivers and freeze everything solid.
All the while, the book is sneakily teaching you stuff. If you’re a kid, you may not even notice the information soaking into your brain as Earth Primer urges you to create magma or melt a glacier you’ve just formed. But it’s clever like that, even ‘locking’ subsequent chapters until you’ve worked through all of what the current one wants you to see.
In a sense, Earth Primer’s heart feels a little like a game, and its playful nature should come as no surprise when you learn that author Chaim Gingold is best known for the fantastic Spore Creature Creator.
The masterstroke is the Sandbox, where you get a little hunk of land and can do whatever you want with it – but each god-like tool is only available if you’ve already learned about it. So if you want to bake the land, cause a flood or blow gales around your mountaintop, you’d best knuckle down for some reading and a touch of finger gymnastics.
Whether learning or playing, this is a beautifully designed and engaging educational app for children of all ages – and we’ll happily count the MacFormat team among them! Craig Grannell
£7.99 Developer Chaim Gingold, earthprimer.com
Works with iPad Version 1.01 One of the best – and most fun – books we’ve seen on iPad. Imaginative, creative and essential.
Breezy but informative
Fantastic interactive pages
Clever structure for kids
Superb Sandbox mode