My Very First App turns images from Carle’s My Very First Books series into matching games. In “Easy” mode, the screen is divided in half; players scroll through sets of images to find corresponding concepts (e.g., purple and grapes). The “Medium” level requires users to flip over cards two at a time and pair images directly (grapes and grapes), while the “Hard” level asks users to pair different but related images (again, purple and grapes) while a narrator explains the relationship between the two.
In virtualizing the real-world card-matching game, Night and Day Studios has eliminated the possibility of lost cards and the necessity for pick-up, and the dimension of matching related but nonidentical images extends the app’s playability. Though children may quickly tire of matching the color and animal cards that come pre-loaded, there are additional card sets for purchase (but at $1.99 for the app and $.99 for each additional set, this could quickly become one of the pricier apps on your iPad).
From the chewed-through pages of The Very Hungry Caterpillar to the twinkling lights of The Very Lonely Firefly, Eric Carle’s books revel in both whimsy and envelope-pushing. Comparatively, My Very First App is a beautiful but somewhat underwhelming take on a traditional card game—and has lost much of Carle’s magic in the process.