Loris and the Runaway Ball (US$1.99), the first app from Pointed Stories, is meant to teach toddlers what to do if their ball gets thrown into the street accidentally. This is an important lesson, which drew me to the app, but in testing it out, it left quite a bit to be desired and is hardly worth the price. This universal app relays a very short story told by Lincoln (Loris' older brother) about what happened when the ball wound up in the street. The app is just a handful of pages, it has no sound, and the animation is extremely limited. The graphics may be sweet to some toddlers, but the water-colored pictures looked rough and quickly tossed together to me. With no sound, there is no narration. The app seems to be little more than a strip of pictures that you swipe to get to the next one. The only interaction is a decision point where you can choose who Loris should ask to help get the ball back. You can ask Lincoln, Loris' dad or a neighbor named Mrs. Seal. Each choice branches to three specific pages, then goes right back to the story for the ending. That's about all there is to it, and it's not a lot.
The lessons Loris and the reader are meant to learn? Mrs. Seal is glad to help and tosses the ball back. Lincoln, who has crossed the street before, knows to listen, wait and make sure it's clear before he crosses the street. Dad always knows what to do. He holds Loris' hand and tells her to look left, look right, look left again, then they cross together. That's the whole app. You can get through it in less than three minutes, and I would question its worth at even $0.99, much less the $1.99 Pointed Stories is asking for.