Spoiler alert! If you want to send custom images to family and friends for Christmas eCards, you can do no better than Infinite Dreams' Christmas. Like Let's Create: Pottery, you can build ornaments from scratch, decorate them and photograph them with colored lighting. Four Stars.
You may have to search through several apps named Christmas to find Christmas. For some reason, verbal ingenuity dies when it comes to the holidays. Or perhaps developers don't want to accidentally offend the many right wing advocates who turn every well-intentioned attempt at holiday cheer into a war on the most holy of holidays. “Christmas” may offend some secular partisans, but no one in the media pays attention to them anyway.
Infinite Dreams' Christmas is a lite implementation of Let's Create: Pottery. Like Pottery, you create and decorate ornaments before sending them as eCards to friends. Unlike pottery, you can't mold the ornaments to any shape you choose, and you can't earn credits to buy more brushes and colors. The selection is far more limited, but still fun.
You begin with one of nine basic ornament shapes with surfaces that range from shiny smooth to sparkly or ridged. Six of those ornaments are really attractive, three not so much. But that's still plenty to work with. Once you finish your shell, you can then hand paint the ornament and add a number of pre-cut patterns to emboss and gloss the surface.
Christmas offers several basic shapes and colors which you can enhance with any of dozens of custom brushes that stamp patterns onto the surface. You can even choose the color of lights to view the ornament.
The patterns, or brushes, range in style from elegant to kitsch. Children will love decorating with cartoon patterns such as smiling trees and reindeer.
The app runs well on the iPad 3 and up, and very slowly on the original iPad. In fact, this was the main reason I didn't review it last year when it was introduced. I still had the iPad delivered to my door the first day Apple made them available and I couldn't speak to performance the way I would have liked.
Once you finish your ornament, you can add it to your permanent collection or pitch it and start over. You can depict the ornament against several different back drops, but you have a far greater variety for the backgrounds to your eCards.
This year Infinite Dreams released an upgrade that they claimed would introduced new brushes and materials daily, which sounded pretty cool. Unfortunately, that meant they reset the game to a single shape, material and background, and then slowly added in the materials I lost. It wasn't until yesterday that I finally felt like I was getting the full complement of brushes, shapes and paints.
When you finish your ornament, you can send it as an eCard to your friends. The cards offer a wide variety of backgrounds and typefaces.
As a fan of Pottery, however, I haven't warmed up to Christmas quite as much. I miss the ability to post ornaments to the web, and I would love to be able to create my own shapes. And I would love to be able to earn different brush sets. I also miss having challenge designs issued in the form of orders from clients.
On the other hand, the graphics are stunning. Perhaps even more eye-catching than those in Pottery. The rendering under different colored lights is amazing to see; the detail almost breathtaking. And the interface is identical—extremely easy to figure out and use. If you want an app to get you into the holiday spirit, Christmas is the one to try.
Jenny Manytoes rates Christmas
Jenny Manytoes would purr next to Christmas.
The graphics are spectacular, and you can create dozens of ornaments to send to friends in a matter of minutes.
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