Friday, 2 January 2015

Bohemian Gothic Tarot App Overview

Bohemian Gothic App
As a big fan of the Bohemian Gothic Tarot (Magic Realist Press, 2010), I was delighted when I heard it was being released in app form.  And at first glance, the app has much to recommend it.  The design values are outstanding, with beautiful and appropriate borders, fonts and decorative elements.  The quality of the images is also wonderful, and the app provides easy access to the full card descriptions from the original book.  These include lighter and darker aspects in bullet point form, as well as a deeper reading, questions to ponder, and for some cards also appropriate quotes from gothic writers such as Edgar Allan Poe.  It also has the complete book as a resource that you can read separately, including chapters on gothic archetypes, the spreads designed for the deck, and of course the cards.

Unfortunately, the app's functionality really lets the artwork, writing and design down.  There are no shuffle options, no reading cloths, and three very important elements make this an app I won't be using.  

The information is good
Firstly, the readings you can choose from are extremely limited.  In total, there are only six spreads, and they don't even include the Celtic Cross!  There are one card, three card, and five card general spreads, and then three further spreads specific to Magic Realist Press.  These include the Tarot of Prague “Threshold Spread”, and a Vampire Spread.  These spreads are also very narrow in their uses. For instance, the three card spread is rigidly defined as past-present-future, not allowing you to put your own spin on what the positions might represent.  

Secondly, there is no journal function whatsoever.  So, while you can save a reading, you have only the title and date to remind you what you were reading about, and no way within the app to write down your own thoughts.  Even the title only allows you about six words, so it’s a brief title!

Sadly, the spreads are not!
Finally, although there is an option to email the reading, it does so just with the spread position, the title of the card, and the app's keywords - no images!  While I understand that Magic Realist Press have had a lot of issues with copyright infringements, anyone getting the app can do screen shots to have access to the images.  Had they included images in the email readings, they could have done so with a copyright mark included.  Therefore, this achieves nothing besides making the app less appealing.  Added to that, the amount you can write into the email is also so limited that you can't even manage a single sentence about each card if you use one of the larger spreads!  Pointless!

Sadly, then, this one isn't worth the price, no matter how cheap!


  1. It looks like Foolsdog is doing a much better job

    1. Definitely, Ellen! It was so disappointing getting this :(