LeapFrog Leapster 2 Learning Game System - Pink
Put innovative creativity and fun at your kids' fingertips -- and watch them learn in the process -- with the The LeapFrog Leapster 2 Learning Game System. This battery-operated handheld game system goes where your children go, and brings plenty of learning fun along. It comes with two pre-installed educational games, and many more are available: purchase an optional SD card separately for access to additional online games and to take advantage of other online features; or you can purchase game cartridges to add to your Leapster 2 repository. The included games have skill levels suitable for children ages 4 to 8.
Children will love playing the educational games. View larger.
Leapster 2 games are designed to grow with your child ages 4 through 8, and the console comes pre-loaded with two games
|What We Think |
(what this means)
The Good: Battery-powered console goes where your child goes, offers versatile, educational fun.
The Bad: An SD card, which must be purchased separately, is required to take advantage of many Leapster 2 features.
In a Nutshell: Handheld game console offers fun, educational games that accommodate your child's learning curve.
|At a Glance |
Ages: 4 to 8
Requires: Four AA batteries
The console has a comfortable, curved shape, although it may be a tad large and heavy for smaller hands. It features a full-color touch screen and sound that's a far cry better than the beeps of old-school handheld consoles. (Parents will appreciate the volume control and a jack for headphones!) Control and manipulate the console with the included stylus and with the videogame-style D pad and other buttons.
We found the initial set-up to be relatively easy: install the four required AA batteries, and navigate through the self-explanatory screens to create user profiles for up to 3 children (which come in handy for accessing online features). After this quick set-up, a menu screen will appear, where you can choose to play the pre-loaded games, go online, or insert a game cartridge.
Fun and Learning
Leapster 2 games are designed to grow with your child ages 4 through 8. The console is pre-loaded with two games: The "Dragons to the Rescue! Learning Game," is a "video game" type activity with four different levels, the first helping kids identify letters and numbers, the most advanced giving them spelling and multiplication practice, all while navigating a dragon past monstrous storm clouds and scrambling to collect magic crystals. The "Creativity Castle Art Studio" is a rather low-tech art program. Players can select a background scene to "color" using the stylus and "decorate" with fun animated stamps. While it does foster creativity, this program is somewhat clumsy -- your Paint program on your PC does a much better job. But "Dragons" was fun enough to keep even an adult tester enjoyably diverted.
Unfortunately, an SD card is required for taking advantage of much of what the Leapster 2 has to offer -- which is a drawback, because it must be purchased separately. Without the SD card, which offers more memory, you cannot save artwork, download new games, or take advantage of the online "Learning Path," which will be available August 2008. (This online program allows you to register and upload your children's Leapster 2 profiles to show you their learning activities and their progress.)
In the meantime, without the SD card, you can still purchase game cartridges. And you still can plug your console -- with the included USB cable -- into your PC for your children to view and print "rewards" for completing different game levels (for Dragons to the Rescue, they're certificates of achievement) or to print pictures to color with actual crayons (to encourage some "old-fashioned" creativity!) You must first install the Leapster 2 software on your computer, which comes on the included CD-ROM.
What's in the Box
Leapster 2 Game System, USB cable, CD-ROM