Bartleby’s Book of Buttons is exactly that – a book of buttons and knobs and switches. Each of the buttons interacts with the page somehow, making this a storybook that really couldn’t be done without the iPad.
Bartleby, the main character, goes on an adventure looking for a mysterious new button to add to his collection. The text is stylized, but it wasn’t that much of a challenge for Sal to read. Not sure if it was just easy text to read, or if he’s become too good of a reader, but it wasn’t as bad as some of the other “book” apps we’ve bought. His biggest challenge was the name Bartleby actually. But it’s cute when they muff up some words, right? So I think the readability was fine, yet that wasn’t the main draw of this app.
Because, throughout the story, Bartleby comes across some challenges that end up being mini puzzles for the reader. They aren’t logic puzzles, as one doesn’t really need to think much to solve them. They are exploration type puzzles – push the buttons, find out what they do, maybe piece together that you need to do things in a particular order, maybe just get lucky after trying things out.
In the screenshot I took, you can see he’s got a key to start up his car that will drive along the very basic maze, a horn just for kicks, you control the train guard rails, the arrival of the train, the street signals, and the turn signals.
I found that Sal enjoyed horsing around with the buttons more than was necessary to complete the challenge on the page. Some pages we would “read” over again to because he wanted to try out just one more thing, regarding the buttons/switches on the page. The depth of the interactions with the “page” is pretty engaging
Partially because the story is a bit light. I think that Sal enjoyed the book quite a bit, but he was left wanting more because the story was a little short and because he was having so much fun with it. Which is convenient enough, because there is a volume 2 on its way soon. Just not soon enough for Sal’s tastes.
Anyway, because they are teasing Volume 2 right now, the initial book is available for free, to whet your appetite for the sequel!