The Flower Shop – Summer in Fairbrook Review for iPhone and iPod Touch

By on Nov 6, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Not everyone likes to read long books these days. For those who aren’t fond of sitting with a real novel, short interactive graphic books like The Flower Shop – Summer in Fairbrook by vNovel Interactive may perhaps deliver some distraction from daily mundanity.

Before I proceed further, I must confess I would never have flipped through The Flower Shop – Summer in Fairbrook if I hadn’t needed to write this review. In short, I’m not the targeted audience for this interactive book.

The Flower Shop – Summer in Fairbrook features a teenaged protagonist called Steve, and the story is essentially about how Steve spends his summer at his uncle’s farm in Fairbrook, where he meets a few girls. At the start of the story, Steve’s girlfriend, Jill, breaks up with him because she’s disappointed at how inattentive he’s been with her. Just while Steve’s feeling his great sense of loss, his dad finds out about his poor grades and decides to send him off to work at his uncle’s farm. Steve thus becomes a most reluctant farmhand. Little does he know his summer will turn out to be more eventful than he would have guessed.

The illustrations are very anime in style, and well done. Like a comic book, each page of illustrations is accompanied by text, dialog, and/or various courses of actions for you to select from. Your choice affects the way the story goes — hence, its interactive nature. To proceed through the book, you have to tap each and every page.

I shall refrain from commenting on the story itself, which is perhaps typical teenage fodder. Had this been an action or sci-fi anime, it would have had a much better chance of grabbing my interest. The biggest flaw of The Flower Shop – Summer in Fairbrook as an app is that it does not let the reader browse back and forth through the book. All you can do is tap for the next page. If you happen to accidentally tap the screen, there is no way that I know of to go back and read whatever you have missed. To facilitate friendlier reading, such a book should be organized into chapters accessible through a main menu, which we can go back to at any time. And better yet, the reader should be able to scroll through the book, to skip pages if he or she so chooses.

Keep your finger off the screen until you’re done reading the page. On the other hand, if you find yourself rapidly tapping away without bothering to finish reading all the text, perhaps you might be better of pressing a physical button.

The Flower Shop – Summer in Fairbrook might appeal to teenagers or anyone who appreciates light anime-styled romance. This interactive book is currently available in the App Store for $1.99.

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Note: A promotional code was provided by the creator for use in this article.

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