Thursday 5 January 2012

Kids' app review : Big Nate - Comix By U!

When I was given the chance to try out Night & Day Studios newest app, Big Nate, I jumped at the chance because they are also the creators of Peekaboo Barn, which I told you about here and which Pierre loves playing with.

Now, I have to admit, I'd never heard of Big Nate but a quick search online revealed the following : "Aspiring cartoonist Nate Wright is the star of Big Nate, the daily and Sunday comic strip distributed by NEA since 1991. Nate is 11 years old, four-and-a-half feet tall, and the all-time record holder for detentions in school history. He's a self-described genius and sixth grade Renaissance Man. Nate, who lives with his dad and older sister, enjoys pestering his family and teachers with his sarcasm." The comic strip appears in more than two hundred U.S. newspapers and online daily at You can find out more at

The Big Nate app will give you the chance to get to know him anyway because you can check out exclusive drawings and comics from Big Nate creator, Lincoln Peirce. But that's not the most exciting part by far because the app allows you to create your own comic strips too.

You have three different ways of creating your comic strip, the first of which is using the story starter, which gives you the first couple of frames and gives you free reign to fill in the rest as you desire. This is a good way to start off, when you still need some guidance and inspiration.

The second option is 10-year-old Sophie's favourite because it's simpler. The comic itself is already created and you just have to fill in the speech bubbles. This is a great activity for some child/parent bonding as you can make up silly dialogues together.

The final option is to create the whole thing from scratch, choosing your own backgrounds, characters and speech bubbles. You have plenty of options, being able to choose from Nate’s best friends (and rivals) - his buddies Francis and Teddy, rival Gina, crush Jenny, his neighbour’s dog Spitsy, and even his Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Godfrey, aka “Godzilla!” - and backgrounds include the P.S. 38 school gym, lockers, library, Nate’s bedroom, the neighbourhood and Mrs. Godfrey’s classroom—everywhere that Nate goes.

At the moment, Sophie find this quite difficult so I'd say 10 is the lowest target age range. I would imagine teens and even adults with an interest in comic strips and mangas would love the opportunity for getting creative and coming up with some professional looking cartoons by themselves though, especially as you can save your finished work in a gallery or share it with friends.

star rating : 3.5/5

RRP : £2.49

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