LeapFrog Leapster 2 Learning Game System - Pink
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- The preschool gaming handheld that connects to the LeapFrog® Learning Path, an online experience that lets you see what your child is learning.
- Play and learn school skills on the go or connect online for extra activities and rewards.
- Library of over 30 exciting learning games featuring characters kids love.
- Included and additional games teach skills in a range of subjects, such as language arts, reading, mathematics and science.
- Parents can connect online to the LeapFrog® Learning Path to see what their child is learning. Kids connect online for extra activities and rewards.
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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.
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
Top customer reviews
Pros: My kids love it. Yes, even my 9 yr old son picks it up and plays it when his sister lets him. It is durable. I can't tell you how many times it has dropped out of the van onto the asphalt to barely leave a mark. My girl has even taken an ink pen to the screen and the damage was minimal. A mr.clean magic eraser cleans it right off and depending on how hard they press may not leave any visible marks while the leapster is turned on. Has a lot of RELEVANT features for a kid hand held like brightness adjust, volume ctrl, and a headphone jack. The volume control is button press so you dont have to worry about them bumping it and hurting their ears. Also you can download some free content to it online. Battery life is pretty good for the amount of time it is on. I can't say exactly how long, but we usually get a few days of fairly continuous use out of each new set. We use rayovac batteries. The buttons are also well made and durable.
Cons: This thing is pretty pricey. Not necessarily for the hand held, but the carts/roms. For the games kids are going to want to play, you are looking at an easy 20-25 each one new. That is right on par with a Nintendo ds cart and they don't have nearly the same amount of content or longevity and since the educational value is minimum, is something to consider. Weight. This think is pretty heavy for small hands and not too forgiving on uncovered toes if it is dropped.
Bottom line: We like the leapster 2! In fact we just bought one for our niece because she couldn't put ours down during a summer visit. For kids under 8, I would say get this over a ds because it is so durable and kids who play video games will use it. It is a good way to see if your kids can handle a more delicate piece of hardware like a ds or psp before breaking the bank. For kids over 8, if they are fairly responsible with there items than a ds would be the better choice because they are nearing the age where the leapster looks too "little kid" for them to play with and a lot of there friends will have a ds already letting them play together.
Recently, our 3 1/2 year old picked up the Leapster 2 and really seems to enjoy it. She gets the games, but is challenged enough by them to keep her interest. She NEVER plays the Wii, but really seems to enjoy the Leapster more than our son ever did.
For educational purposes, this is a good choice. All games are centered around a learning subject like math, letters, shapes, etc. This is also a great device to take along in the car, just make sure you bring headphones for the kids as the music/sounds can get really annoying.
I think the Leapster 2 is very well designed and has a nice feature set. It's rugged too - ours has been dropped more than once, yet it still works just fine. Screen resolution is lacking a bit (especially if you're used to looking at a smart phone screen each day), I think that could be improved. But the size, button locations, and overall style is very nice.