'Numberlys' - Best Android, iOS apps from 2012

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numberlys

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Numberlys 
(Developed by Moonbot Studios LA)
Available for: iOS
Released: January
Price: $5.99

The follow-up to Moonbot Studios' Academy Award-nominated The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris LessmoreNumberlys further advances the storytelling possibilities of the mobile medium, fusing an ingenious animated narrative with interactive games and challenges to deliver an experience ideal for kids of all ages. Set in a retro-futuristic world where people, places and things are given numbers instead of names, Numberlys presents a delightful quirky take on the origins of language, depicting the adventures of five oddball laborers who commandeer the number factory where they work in order to create the 26 letters of the alphabet. Their efforts herald a brave new world of communication, literally and figuratively bringing color into their lives. 

 Like all the best family-friendly entertainment, Numberlys engages children but never condescends to them, and its cinematic and literary allusions help guarantee that parents remain engrossed too. It's a triumph of style as well as substance:  Moonbot Studios' App Store description cites inspirations as diverse and lofty as the original King Kong, Fritz Lang's Metropolis, the Marx Brothers and Fleischer Studios' animated Superman series, and those influences come together shape a richly detailed vision of dystopia that's both cutting and cute. This is edutainment with heart, soul and intelligence.