Written by Arthur Conan Doyle, developed by iClassics Collection — The enhanced reading experience has never really caught on – not compared to plain old books or Kindle ones – but this production might go some way to addressing that. With atmospheric illustrations, touches of animation and interactivity, not to mention some suitably moody music, it brings Victorian London to life quite elegantly.
Sherlock Holmes fans will know the deal with the story. A Scandal in Bohemia was the first Holmes short story that Conan Doyle wrote for The Strand Magazine – following two successful novels – and was part of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes compilation published in 1892. Holmes and Watson are approached by a tall, mysterious gentleman, who initially appears in a mask and who wants the consulting detective to retrieve an incriminating photograph of him. The photo is in the possession of one Irene Adler, who becomes a bit of a thing with Holmes in later stories. If Holmes doesn’t get hold of it, the picture will cause a scandal in Bohemia.
Being a short story, it’s about the right size for this sort of production, and the Spanish digital creatives behind it have used a mixture of different media to draw you in. There’s a lovely sound track by Miguel Tejada, while Jordi Solano’s illustrations get the tone just about right, though they are a little dark. His characters are lanky, with long faces and maudlin eyes, but aren’t overly serious. There’s mist and smog aplenty, with a sound track of hooves on pavement, muttering locals, doors opening and closing, and papers rustling as you progress.
There are nice little interactive touches too, like the ability to rub out one of Holmes’ disguises, or to open drawers, manipulate objects and inspect documents. You can turn the aged, textured pages with a swipe, and sometimes something as simple as a shift in the type size is what lifts a section of the text.
The story itself, well it’s not so much a mystery as a mission for Holmes, but at $1.99 (iOS), and offering an hour or two of enhanced reading entertainment, it’s well worth it. This iClassic would also be an ideal way of engaging a young reader with Sherlock Holmes. It sits alongside a similarly presented collection of Edgar Allen Poe works, and you can also get iLovecraft, iWilde and iDickens.
More images from iDoyle can be seen below. If you like the sound of this, try The 39-Steps Interactive.
CFL Rating: 4 Stars