Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Steamy? Punky? Well, it's iPad-y!

Well, the Kickstarter project, Steampunk Holmes has come to fruition at long last, and has accomplished its goals as set out in its initial crowdfunding appeal. I'll be curious to see how it gets reviewed by the unbiased Sherlock Holmes fans who pick up the iPad app and give it its full workout.

As a backer of Steampunk Holmes, I've discovered one of the problems with the Kickstarter model and the updates and rewards you get along the way . . . it was a little like walking through the kitchen too much while the cooks are working. By the time the meal is prepared, all of the tasty surprises are expected . . . and maybe not as impressive as they might have been had the plate just been set before you.

The text of Steampunk Holmes came out in book form a long time ago, and as a paperback book, it seemed a lot like just another fannish pastiche. A goodly shared of the art was previewed on the Kickstarter sight to begin with, and the fact that it was now animated a wee bit (which has a suprising creepiness in some of the portraits) didn't blow me away as much as if it was the first time I encountered it. The map whereupon you can follow the story was one of the coolest features of the app to me, mainly because I didn't remember it being mentioned before.

So I really don't feel like I can give Steampunk Holmes the review it deserves. I think my main criticism of the new app itself is that I'd really have liked cover art to come up when it starts up, instead of the first couple pages of text. But that's a small enough thing.

With another steampunked Holmes work in Barnes & Noble's featured stock (Sherlock Holmes -- The Stuff of Nightmares), the Asylum movie of steampunky Sherlock silliness, the steampunk influences of the RDJ movies, and even what I hear is "steampunk style" on Elementary, we may be seeing an entire genre of Holmes rising up, and someday Steampunk Holmes will be seen as an early example of that.

Lukewarm praise, I know, but I just saw too much along the way to get excited. Still, it's always good to see a Kickstarter come to fruition. Take a look for it in the app store if you have an iPad and give it your own fresh review.

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