APP OF THE DAY: War in the Pacific review (iPad)
This isn't the first time that we've featured an app from Gameloft in our App of The Day series, but it is the first time that we've included an app from the French developer that isn't a game.
You see Gameloft has branched out with its App Store offerings, and has done so in a very serious and informative manner, covering one of the most fascinating areas of WWII.
War in the Pacific (iPad)
Yes, we were surprised when first heard that Gameloft was throwing an interactive book into the App Store.
And we were even more surprised to learn that the book didn't borrow heavily from other established titles (The Lord of the toe-Rings, Barry Potter and the Philanthropist's Stone...) and instead produced an entirely original publication. And a history-based non-fiction title to boot.
And we have to say, it's brilliant. Not only does it look stunning and feature some incredibly rich content, it also ticks all of the boxes that a contemporary tablet based book app should.
Within its 56-pages you'll find in-depth text, high-quality zoomable pictures, videos, interactive maps and more.
You don't have to read the book in order if you don't want to, using the map based timelines (which are based on the actual Operation maps), it's also possible to dip in and out of sections that you want to look closer at.
And each page is often more than you see before you. Click a photo and it will enlarge and offer a detailed caption, or it might throw out extra content - such as official documents, radio transcriptions and maps from the time.
The book begins with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941 and details the almost simultaneous attacks on US bases on Guam and Wake Island. It goes on to explain and document the bloody battles that took place across the region until the chilling end with the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
The book is written by Richard Overy, professor of History at the University of Exeter, and author of over 20 books on WWII. There is also a foreword by Dale Dye, Senior Military Advisor to HBO’s blockbuster series The Pacific.
At £5.99 it's not cheap, in terms of app prices anyway, but pop down to Waterstones and see if you can buy a physical book on the subject with the same amount of detail for less than £6. We think it'll be a fruitless task.
This is a fantastic app, and well worth every penny. More please Gameloft, more.