Wednesday, November 5, 2014

LeapTV Product Review {Promotional Post}

Note: I was provided with the LeapTV product, loaded game content, and an extra controller to review and keep for my use.  All opinions expressed here are my own and in no way influenced by those providing the LeapFrog materials.

Photo curtesy of LeapFrog
I had a great opportunity to use and review the latest product from LeapFrog.  LeapTV is an interactive gaming system geared toward a young audience, ages 3-8 years.  Generally, I hand over the LeapFrog products to my kids and let them go to town, and then provide you with a review of the materials as an observer.  I do often get in and use the products myself or let the kids show me how things work.  Today, I decided to go about this a little differently; my husband and I went to take the first test drive of the LeapTV gaming system, and here are our thoughts:

Pros:
  • As with all LeapFrog products, you can set different users to have different difficulty levels, which while playing together as a large group allows the younger kids to have the Pre-School questions while the older one have the Elementary school based questions. 
  • A large variety of games are available for LeapTV, filling interests in many categories; there is something for everyone.  And many of your favorite LeapFrog Characters make appearances in the games.
  • The camera picks up details of movement extremely well when using your body as a controller, as long as there is not a lot of clutter in the background.


Cons:
  •  The game controllers are a bit difficult to maneuver.  The post controller is at an angle, so occasionally when I felt like I was moving left or right, I ended up crouching or not jumping high enough – this occurred especially in the Spiderman game
  • Some navigation on screen when exiting games was confusing – I thought I was quitting games and ended up circling back and forth a few times before getting where I wanted.
  • There were also a few times that the controllers became disconnected in the middle of a game, while we were using them, causing a disruption in our play.  And when they seemed to interfere with the camera/body control.


When trying out the system, we played the following games:
  1. LeapFrog Kart Racing: Supercharged!: Initially, I bounced from walls to walls, but by the 3rd lap, I was starting to get the hang of it.  I am sure that the kids will have the racing mastered in no time, but I am glad that we played the middle level of difficulty.
  2. LeapFrog Dance & Learn: We did the jungle jam.  The sounding out of words was a bit difficult to hear, and there were times that a repeat would have been nice.  It was great to bounce around and grab the stars for extra points.
  3. Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man: There is so much to do on each of these levels – collecting pictures, defeating ‘bad guys,’ navigating through stages by crawling on walls, ceilings and jumping over holes.  This game is enjoyed by my older kids, as well.  The pointer play is great fun as you fling webs at the Octobots and cruise through the city like Spider-Man swinging from building to building.
  4. LeapFrog Sports:
    • Baseball, Home run Derby: After super charging your bat with math problems, each player gets a chance to hit 5 pitches at the different rings set up in the outfield.  The pitches were difficult to time, as some were very slow, some oscillated back and forth, and others were very fast.  I feel like the more that you play the game; the better you will be able to judge the correct time to swing.
    • Soccer, Goalie: This was super fun to use Body Motion to block shots from the ball blaster.  Water Balloons are also thrown in to see if you are paying attention.
Photo curtesy of LeapFrog

Bottom Line: The content is what you expect from LeapFrog – excellently tailored to the Pre-school and early elementary aged children to supplement their at home and at school curriculum.  The few quirks in the control and navigation of the LeapTV, are places for improvement, but not detrimental to the operation of LeapTV.




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