Discworld: The Ankh-Morpork Map is the first app to accompany Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of novels.
This iPad exclusive app has been based on The Compleat Ankh-Morpork book. At £10 it's at the expensive end of the app market and makes it one for Discworld fans only.
The Discworld app is made up of two maps: The first is top-down Google Maps style version with buildings and road names while the second is a 'living' interactive animated map. Both of these have been fantastically hand-drawn to a high level of detail which gives the app a really warm and charming essence.
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The first and more basic map is a great accompaniment when you're reading one of Pratchett's Discworld books. Every time a road name, pub or other location is mentioned you'll feel the urge to go see it on the map as the characters you're reading about travel around the city.
It is, however, not quite as exciting as the other map, which as you zoom in reveals more detail and comes to life with more than 1,500 residents of Ankh-Morpork meandering its streets and smoking chimneys. Our main gripe with the living map is that the ambient noise of the city, while fascinating as it changes depending on where you go, does get annoying after a while so we found ourselves muting the iPad.
The map is huge and you could find yourself spending hours exploring all the nooks and crannies as well as the well-known areas. There are more than 2,000 colour coded businesses, services and landmarks which you can click on. Each time you do you'll get a set of cards with a combination of information, quotes from Discworld books and gorgeous hand-drawn placards.
Although it's not a game, Discworld connects to the Apple Game Center. This is because there are a set of achievements to be unlocked, the most fun of which is finding characters on the living map including Death, Commander Vimes and Rincewind. Other achievements include visiting places and delivering post for the Blind Letters Office. Each time you complete an achievement you're spurred on by cheers and applause.
While these are fun, they won't keep you entertained on a long-term basis. Using the map as a reference to the books is why you'll get your money's worth here.
Aside from freely exploring the city you can find specific things easily and quickly with the street index and city directory. With these you can search for and browse through all the guilds, pubs, temples and landmarks in Ankh-Morpork.
Furthermore, and a stand out feature of the Discworld app, is the ability to take three different walking tours around the city – 'Towers, Temples and Theatrical Treats', 'Guilds Governance and a Grand Vista', and finally 'Remedies, Rat Markets and a River View'. Hortensia d'Antiqua from the Guild of Historians, wonderfully voiced by Blackadder’s Helen Atkinson Wood, guides you round the streets highlighting landmarks and giving you interesting facts.
Although it's quite expensive, Discworld: The Ankh-Morpork Map is both fun and informative making it a must have for Terry Pratchett fans. It's one of the best looking apps we've seen, has an incredibly high level of detail and more features than you'd expect for what is essentially a map.