I was recently given a LeapTV to try out. The product was provided to me by LeapFrog but the opinions here are all my own.
The LeapTV was sent pre-loaded with several games. Some of the games that were loaded into my LeapTV are normally sold separately, but they were included in ours so we could review them. The LeapTV comes with 1 controller and I was sent a second controller so we could play partner games. Kart Racing is always a favorite when played as a 2 player game.
Let me start with the good things. I will start by telling you that this is SUPER cool. Yes, we have other gaming systems in the house, but those were made for adults and just sell kid games to go along with them. The LeapTV was designed just for kids. It’s made for kids 3-8. Not only is it made for kids, but it is also the PERFECT learning tool/gaming cross! Kids combine activity and movement with educational curriculum. So, your child might be playing the Spiderman game and all of a sudden they have to find all of the capital letters in order to gain more power, or find the capital letter A that is facing the right direction. The cool thing about LeapFrog technology is that it is self-leveling. So, your child might start out at a standard kindergarten level, but then if they breeze through things, the game will level up to a “just right” academic level. In the same way, if your child is getting lots of answers wrong, it will level itself down to a more comfortable level. Let me tell you, “just right levels” make this teacher very happy. I was also thrilled with the kindergarten level skills I was seeing. They were things that we are currently working on in the kindergarten clasroom!
The LeapTv has three different ways to play. It uses body motion with a camera that senses movement, the regular controller which you play with the A and B button and the little joystick movement button, or you can convert the controller to a pointer and you kind of use it like a magic wand.
The games that you can purchase are of high interest to kids. They have games like Spiderman, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Sophia the First, a LeapFrog Sports game, and LeapFrog Dance. We loved the sports games the best.
Now for the negative stuff. We wished that the controller had another “notch” so you could open it up a bit more, for larger hands. There were a couple of sport games that would pause and wouldn’t let us get out of that spot. We ended up turning off that machine and turning it back on, and then just skipping that particular activity. There were plenty of other activities, so it wasn’t a big deal. We also had trouble with lighting at first. We started playing with the windows open and the bright light behind us made it hard for the sensor to read. My 13 year old was the first one to say, “Well, duh… you’re supposed to close the blinds when you play video games so the sensor doesn’t have to work so hard.” Well, apparently that was a DUH moment that I would have understood if I spent any amount of time on the x-box.” Oh, and it actually mentions that in the directions but I missed that part. That was a mom-error I guess. Looking at the big picture, the negatives were really very minor and not a big deal.
One thing I noticed in playing this system was the lack of frustration. I remember when we first bought our Wii, X-Box, and Playstation (no, we don’t have all of those anymore), and the frustration my kids had. I remember my husband coming to rescue many times because we couldn’t get Franklin to the picnic or couldn’t get Dora to fly where she was supposed to go. Those gaming systems were HARD for little people. The thing I love about LeapTV is that it’s made just for kids. When something is made for kids and it’s just the right level, the frustration is gone and it’s all about pure learning fun!
If you are looking for a gaming system for the 3-8 year old crowd, look no further than LeapTV. It is absolutely awesome. I’ve told people that it’s the best thing LeapFrog has come out with since The Letter Factory DVD. If you know me, you know how much I love The Letter Factory. I love that this combines easy to play games that kids love with LEARNING! I also love the self leveling that comes with LeapFrog products. It’s pretty cool!
Happy gaming and learning!