A is for apple.
That’s the kind of thing you learned at school, by way of a badly illustrated apple alongside a chunky letter ‘A’. Metamorphabet thumbs its nose at such uninspiring fare, bringing new life to the alphabet, through a series of imaginative, surreal and frequently disturbing animations.
Right from the off, you know this isn’t going to be a typical trip through the alphabet. A single tap causes an A to grow antlers, which you can drag and watch pleasingly spring back into place. More taps and the A transforms into an arch and goes for an amble. But Metamorphabet is just warming up. Next, the B grows a bushy beard before a beak emerges from its top hole, vomiting an endless stream of colourful bugs. It’s like a deranged fever dream wrenched from the mind of a children’s animator and squirted into a touchscreen device.
B is for brilliant
There is now and again perhaps a nagging sense of ‘C is for canned animation’
There is now and again perhaps a nagging sense of ‘C is for canned animation’ about the app — a certain inflexibility; but it never feels like a slideshow going through the motions. And if progression is sometimes a bit heavily defined, you’ll mostly be distracted at what’s in front of your face and barely notice anyway…
A cone becomes a car, driven by a massive caterpillar. It honks when tapped, can be flung into the air, and makes a worrying smashing noise upon landing. O’s ostrich and orange have a curious relationship, the former seemingly being both curious about and terrified of the latter, depending on relative proximities and speeds.
A giant N-shaped building’s neighbours watch a massive nose protrude from their dwelling before the entire structure ends up on the end of a worryingly spindly neck. It's all brilliant.
Not just for kids
So regardless of your age, grab a copy right now
The one mistake you might make with Metamorphabet is that it’s solely for children, not least when each word is precisely spoken in a clear if slightly detached manner, like a Sesame Street voiceover artist has been hypnotised and trapped forever inside the app.
After all, we were regularly merrily delving into Metamorphabet in its iOS incarnation a year before its recent Android release, captivated by its creative heart, engagingly bouncy physics, and unsettling weirdness. But it is a sight to see a tiny human grappling with Metamorphabet on a touchscreen device, transfixed by ‘daydreams’ that can be dragged out of the window as the most fragile of clouds, or a pinwheel that becomes a flagpole in a parade, full of instruments to play with tiny taps.
So regardless of your age, grab a copy right now, because we need more apps of Metamorphabet’s ilk.