There’s something very eerie about Midnight Feast, a new storybook app for iPad by developer Slap Happy Larry. But in a very good way.
Aimed at “a wide variety of ages”, it tells the story of a girl called Roya and a mysterious midnight feast. We don’t want to spoil the surprises for you, so we’ll say little more than that, other than to say we’ve read it a couple of times now, and are still thinking about what it all means.
There are 44 pages with beautiful painting-style illustrations, and light interactivity geared towards understanding the story and its characters. The music and voice narration both contribute significantly to its atmosphere: it’s a book-app to sink into and forget about the world around you, for a few minutes at least.
As we said, it is spooky in places, although in a nice touch, there’s an option to turn the scariest bits off if you’re using the app with younger children. We suspect 10/11 year-olds and upwards will relish its strangeness though.
In another welcome move, Slap Happy Larry has made available on its website Midnight Feast reading notes and some post-reading activities for 12-16 year-olds. Suggestions in the latter include making a YouTube playlist to match the emotions and themes in the story, designing and writing an epilogue screen, and rewriting the story as a poem, among many others.
All in all, the app has a marvellous sense of craft, attention to detail, and genuine depth. Midnight Feast costs £2.49 ($3.99) for iPad in Apple’s App Store. Here’s a video demo (and we’re also going to check out the developer’s previous app The Artifacts):