You start by creating an avatar for yourself, choosing from a number of options for the shapes and hues of your face, your eyes, etc. There are enough options that I found myself looking in a mirror (well, in my phone’s camera app) — I don’t know, my nose is nose-shaped! But of course, noses can be lots of shapes. I hope I chose the right one for Shoshoppelgänger. (There was no way to type an umlaut in the app, but I used my imagination.)
Choose your favorite color, and you’ll find yourself on a background of that color. Question-mark bubbles will pop up; tap them to answer questions about yourself: What time do you go to bed? Who were you named after? What’s something you can do by yourself? Bubbles with little pencils in them take you to screens where there’s something to draw: a skyscraper, a robot, what the flag would look like if you were ruler of the universe. And bubbles with camera icons invite you to turn on your device’s camera and photograph the weather, the first book you read by yourself, or what you look like when you’re bored. There are even microphone bubbles you can tap to record answers to questions. Your responses to the prompts float around, creating a cloud of words and images that are about you and your ideas.
Do a little swiping, and you’ll find sections about different areas of your life. There are home and school sections, where all the prompts are about where you live and where you learn. There are sections to create avatars for your friends and family members. There are also sections about emotions, though I wish the app asked more about what makes you feel sad or angry, or what you do with those feelings; instead, you’re prompted to choose which color reminds you of feeling a certain way, and then shows you feeling that way against a background of that color.
This app has a lot of space for self-expression, with a seemingly endless supply of bubbles containing varied prompts. And if you’re feeling extra-creative, who says you have to answer as yourself?
Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 7.0 or later); $2.99. Recommended for primary and intermediate users.