March of the Dinosaurs app review

march of the dinosaurs March of the Dinosaurs app reviewMarch of the Dinosaurs (Touch Press LLP with National Geographic and Wide-Eyed Entertainment, 2011) is based on National Geographic Channel’s 2011 documentary Escape of the Dinosaurs. The app begins with an optional trailer for the film, which also serves as a preview of the app’s content, then opens an illustrated, animated table of contents.

From there, users can access any of the twelve chapters in this dramatic tale about young Edmontosaurus Scar and his herd’s arduous migration south from the Arctic Circle as winter approaches. A subplot features adolescent Troodon Patch, who stays in the Arctic and experiences his first mating season. Animation from the film is gracefully integrated into the story alongside narration and illustrations.

summer in the arctic March of the Dinosaurs app review

Though the (somewhat anthropomorphized) narrative focuses on the two young dinosaurs, additional info bubbles offer context about Cretaceous climate, seasons in the Arctic Circle, vegetation, dinosaur behavior and diet, and more. These bubbles also reference specific findings in the fossil record which inspired incidents in the narrative, e.g., a herbivorous Anklyosaur desperate enough to eat tree bark and the grubs beneath is based on study of coprolites — fossilized dino poop; Patch’s feasting on a dead Gorgosaurus (a much larger carnivorous dinosaur) is backed up by toothmarks on meat-eaters’ bones.

The narration by actor Kerry Shale is well paced and expressive and can be turned on or off at any time. Users may also  choose to hide the text and just listen to the story.

Profiles of ten Cretaceous creatures offer a 360-degree, zoomable 3-D view of each animal, a brief clip of it in action, and a wealth of information: taxonomy; stats; a visual representation of its size relative to the other creatures and to humans; and text discussing its behavior, discovery, or similarities to present-day animals. Although these profiles are accessible during the story, I’d suggest users “Meet the Dinosaurs” from the table of contents first for the smoothest narrative experience.

albertosaurus profile March of the Dinosaurs app review

One (nit-picky) critique of this impressive app: the text contains many minor grammatical errors and typos.

Fascinating and visually arresting, March of the Dinosaurs is a great choice for older dino fans, from about age 8 up to adult. Available for the iPad only; $7.99.

share save 171 16 March of the Dinosaurs app review
Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, assistant editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] For another educational dinosaur app (recommended for slightly older users), see our review of March of the Dinosaurs. [...]

Speak Your Mind

*