Book of Magic is a new magicians tool from Russian developer TimeBom. Offering over sixty tricks divided into seven categories, as well as 2 hours of HD video, Book of Magic is an excellent way to learn a few magic tricks for a party, or even a whole set of street-ready illusions.
Look and Design:
First and foremost, this app looks incredible on the iPad. The old, leather journal metaphor Book of Magic carries is soothing, and offers just the right amount of mystique for an app about magic. Likewise, the in-app organization of tricks makes finding specific illusions incredibly easy, as well as a treat for the eyes. Book of Magic presents each category of illusions in a wheel of icons, which, when clicked, produce a full list of tricks to match those specifications. Categories include things like mental, card, rubber band, money, and bar magic—after a little exploration, I was particularly fond of the latter. In addition, tricks can also be sorted by complexity and showiness, that way you aren’t learning tricks that are too hard (or too pompous) for your own good.
On the whole, I found the app to be very useful. I have been a fan of magic for many years, and having learned some of these very illusions via pen-and-paper, I firmly believe Book of Magic is a much better alternative for any wannabe magicians. Once a trick is selected from the list, the user is presented with clear, well-shot video examples of how the illusion should be performed. The only catch is that these videos are embedded from YouTube, making initial offline use impossible. The app does offer the ability to download videos for later viewing, but I’m still puzzled by the developers intentions. Presumably, leaving videos in the cloud reduces the apps initial size, but as there are no text explanations of the tricks, access to the app’s information is blocked without internet connectivity.
The above said, the fact that the app is an all-video affair makes Book of Magic great for the international scene, as each trick requires no arduous translation. In the two languages I checked—French and English—menu translations and help files were quite good, though still occasionally humorous (especially in French).
My small grumblings aside, I really do believe Book of Magic is a great tool for learning magic. Though free magic trick expositions are plentiful on the web, having a well-organized set of illusions in one place, with quality video to boot, is a wonderful boon for the app, and certainly justifies the slightly expensive $2.99 cover charge.
Book of Magic [ iTunes Link ] requires iOS 3.2 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone app review rating: