Developer: Play Creatividad S.L
Price: $3.99 Download on the App Store
Got a penchant for Poe? If you love the works of Edgar Allan Poe and would like to rediscover them in a 19th-century-meets-21st-century collision, then iPoe Interactive is the app for you. iPoe is an interactive, illustrated collection of four of Poe’s better-known short stories. The reader can experience Poe’s works with both sound and visual accompaniments that have been selected to enhance the tone of Poe’s writing to deliver a new experience on classics such as The Tell Tale Heart and The Oval Portrait.
iPoe also features the short stories Annabel Lee and The Masque of the Red Death. All four stories are delivered in ebook fashion and have incorporated animation and artwork into the pages to create visual interest, all the while accompanied by a soundtrack (which is best experienced using headphones) that enhances the reading experience as well. The artwork incorporated into the pages is a mix of static and interactive, meaning it can be manipulated with the touchscreen interface.
The idea of taking classic literature and incorporating sound and art to create an interactive reading experience is often reserved for the realm of children’s tales, but iPoe Interactive manages to take Poe's more mature stories to achieve a similar experience for grownups. The soundtrack that accompanies each story is well-suited to the “mood” of Poe’s darker works and the artwork is subtle and matches the font and page design, creating an overall well-rounded book app. High-res graphics for the newest iPad aren’t supported yet, but are in the works.
The only real downside to iPoe is the limited number of Poe’s works. The Tell Tale Heart is of course included as a must, but being limited to only four short stories and none of his poetry the content is a bit light. There’s no word on whether future updates will include additional stories or any poems, such as The Raven, but more content would certainly be a welcome addition. Nonetheless, the content that is present is well-represented with a good design and very appropriate music and artwork.
As an app independent of iBooks, iPoe Interactive has a navigable main menu that allows users to scroll through the stories to select one of choice rather than read them in order. The main menu also allows for language selection – English, French and Spanish – and features access to a short biography of Edgar Allan Poe and an “Extras” section that includes credits and a sketchbook of the app’s artwork. For anyone with an interest in rediscovering some of Poe’s works (or reading them for the first time), iPoe is a splendidly entertaining way of experiencing Poe.