Monday, 7 March 2011

Review of The Land of Me

The Land of Me is an interactive adventure story with fantastic graphics, suitable for ages 2- 6. I reviewed this alongside our 4 year old youngest reviewer.

The Land of me contains 6 chapters, each with their own theme, printable activities and with a wealth of animation and heartwarming characters.

We clicked on The Land of Me and proceeded to download the interactive free download, which led us to an enticing introduction of what was to come...the screenshot of this is the first one on the left.  All the animals could be clicked on, and each had their own characteristics which they shared with readers.  This had Harry on the edge of his seat, clicking with enthusiasm as he watched and listened to the story unfold.

Once we'd finished the free download, the animal bars which you can see running alongside the bottom of the top story picture were clickable.  We clicked on the first one to proceed to unlock that level.  A little clock type icon appeared to let us know it was progressing to the next item - however for us it took too long.  Harry got frustrated with waiting so long, and because there was no progress bar to see if anything was happening, I came out of it....

Our next point of call was to contact Customer Services via email, who were extremely efficient in giving both help and advice, and pointing us in the right direction.  I feel there are many companies out there who would benefit from having such a user friendly customer service as these guys offer.  It made our discovery and experience so much more personal and enjoyable.

Unfortunately for us our computer isn't up to spec so struggled to handle the cute animation and speech of the story as it was out of sinc, so I'd suggest taking a peek on The Land of Me's forum to check if your pc is up to scratch.  It was due to this incompatibility which may have caused the slowness in our download, preventing us from proceeding.  For the first time ever I wanted to upgrade our pc just so we could continue with this story, as the little man was very upset he couldn't proceed. 

For optimal use, specs of your pc should be at a minimum of 3GHZ and 2GB RAM. Windows 2000 and PowerPC Macs are not compatible.

If the intro which we used is a yard stick by which to measure the rest of The land of Me's story, then users of this interactive story are in for a fantastic treat.  The graphics and animations are really cosy and of high quality.  Our 4 year old thoroughly enjoyed  using it and clicking on things to see what they did, it really delighted and entertained him.  He loved the old wise turtle, Granny Olive!

My thoughts:
I wonder if this will make it to other platforms such as the ipad or alternative tablets...I think it would be a fantastic development if it were possible.  Not that we have either of those, but this is something I think The Land of Me would suit equally as well and really excel on.  The addition of a progress bar for downloads might be good.

The customer service given was very friendly and comprehensive.  The member of staff who helped us through our query was very upbeat - and went over and above giving a positive experience.  Although we couldn't proceed further with The Land of Me, Customer Services kindly sent Harry some activities which he could do, a very kind gesture which he enjoyed using :)

From £29.95 may sound a little steep....however the graphics and animations are very high quality and there's also the option of buying each individual unit as an add-on separately for £6.95.  Each chapter has its own things to do, make or colour in, with over 100 printable activites in total.  I think this would be fab for rainy days or half terms, when sometimes all you want to do is stay in, close the curtains and snuggle up.  

Source - Many thanks to The Land of Me for allowing us to review this for them.  Huge thanks to their Customer Services who helped us on our stumbling blocks.  This is an honest review which is given in exchange for being able to use the free download area.  We aim to revisit this once we have a higher spec pc :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle. What a shame you couldn't download it properly. It was @Cosmicgirlie who first pointed out 'The Land of Me' and after seeing the link, I fell in love. K'Boo my daughter was fascinated by the pictures and the interactive animals therein and she sat mesmorised for a rather long time, clicking through the options that changed the story to suit your imagination. Jay (@cosmicgirlie) and me became instant fans and I would highly recommend this package to anyone who has children aged 2-6. It is easy to use and not like anything I have seen on the market. It's friendly, imaginative, colourful and not predictive like some children's stories. This is a great way to intoduce them to reading and using the computer at the same time. I have to agree that it would be nice on an iPad - but having got one, it's nice to be able to use something like 'The Land of Me' on a PC, where something like this would ONLY be available via Apple (food for thought). The additional craft-type downloads were also lovely and you could use for group activities or even for a child's party.