This story was first published on The Reading Room.
Nearly 25 years after his death, Roald Dahl is getting something that he could never have imagined during his own lifetime: a mobile app. This week, Dahl’s fans will be able to download a little bit of his literary legacy to their smartphones and tablets.
The new Roald Dahl app is (of course) aimed at children. It’s a game called “Twit or Miss,” a tribute to Dahl’s classic children’s novel The Twits, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary.
In the game, players are asked to swipe their screen to knock flying food away from the sleeping Mrs. Twit. If the player succeeds, the food flies right into Mr. Twit’s beard. If the player fails, the food hits Mrs. Twit, who promptly wakes up and smacks Mr. Twit with her cane (that’s Game Over, of course). The game gets continually harder as the player progresses, and it never ends until poor Mr. Twit has been smacked.
The game is a collaboration between Dahl’s publisher, Penguin Random House Children’s, and the Roald Dahl Literary Estate. Luke Kelly, Roald Dahl’s grandson and the man in charge of his estate, loves the concept of a Roald Dahl app. “Working with Penguin and Aardman, we thought we had a brilliant opportunity to develop that into a digital game filled with disgusting food, beards, Twit quips and general app-enabled monstrosity,” he explains.
Mark your calendar: the game will hit Google Play and the iOS App Store on July 23rd, and it will be free to download (though players will see advertising for Roald Dahl’s books while they play).