Parents on the lookout for carefree, unintimidating ways to urge the sprout of their young kids' creativity ought to take a look at Ten Amazing Fruits. As the product name suggests, Ten Amazing Fruits stars a sampling of botanical characters, including the frequently miscast tomato (hurrah!) These are not, however, your garden-variety fruits. Each outsize organic possesses arms, feet, and a blank face upon which children can attach, Mr. Potato Head-style, a variety of digital features and appendages. A posh voice recites object names when the cursor mouses by, but a quick trip to the options can put an end to it.
Hidden in the branches of the app's help manual are instructions on playing the loosely defined game, and an accompanying story written cheerfully in passable English translation. The goal? Help the fruit escape certain death-by-digestion by dragging and dropping on eyes, ears, and noses so they can find their way out of the fruit bowl. Yawn. Without the app's interaction, it's much more satisfying to dream up new stories for each character, and save the fertile faces to the computer as BMP or proprietary FRD files, or print them out to adorn the fridge.
While light-hearted fun, Ten Amazing Fruits is no study in sophistication. Woefully short on graphic finesse, additional backgrounds and accouterments, and space to type new stories, the app nevertheless offers a whimsical and wonderfully silly way for young kids to personify produce.
And at the very least, an early lesson on the tomato's true horticultural alliance. My dapper three-eyed Mr. Tomato, vested in black hat and bow tie, would surely agree.