What It IsLeapFrog's Leapster gets a high-tech upgrade this year with the new Leapster Explorer. Leapster Explorer ($69.99) is more than a traditional handheld gaming platform —it's also a portable hub for dozens of downloadable Leaplet Learning Apps, including e-books, videos, game apps, and flash cards that cover areas from reading and math to science, health, and social responsibility. There is also a Pet Pad App that lets kids create and customize a pet and earn tokens to feed, bathe, and entertain the pet. Each experience offers multiple levels of play, and games auto-adjust so a child can learn at just the right pace. Leapster Explorer remembers a child's progress from game to game, to keep the content challenging and engaging.
The Explorer, which is available in green or pink, comes with 12 games and 18 Leaplet Learning Apps (more will be available for download), as well as a touch-screen, a Linux-based operating system, the ability to run Flash, video, and 3-D graphics, a peripheral slot for expandability with accessories, and 512MB of memory. It is compatible with both PC and Mac. We were impressed with the quality of the screen, the ease of navigation and the highly intuitive computer interface.
Not only can kids learn with the Leapster Explorer, but they can also expand the fun in LeapWorld, a safe online learning playground. In LeapWorld, kids can create a character, build a home, and customize both. Making it snow in Weather Town or helping to clean up the oceans are just two of the unique play experiences possible in LeapWorld. The personal pet kids created on the Explorer can also travel to LeapWorld to show off tricks such as how to print letters. As kids play on Leapster Explorer, they'll earn points to unlock exclusive collectibles online.
Parents can follow children's personal progress via the online LeapFrog Learning Path, gathering information about where a child is excelling or challenged, as well as sharing learning accomplishments along the way.
The camera accessory ($24.99) turns the Leapster Explorer into a personal photo- and video-recorder. Fun activities such as distorting and adding effects to images, then putting them into games or making music videos, are just a few things kids can do with the camera accessory. Other Explorer extras include Learning Experience Learning Game Cartridges ($24.99), Leaplet Learning App Download Cards ($14.99 for a pack of two), a case to hold the Explorer ($14.99), and a recharger ($39.99).
There's so much for kids to do with Leapster Explorer! All of the play and customization options offer kids a one-of-a-kind learning and play experience that will keep them engaged, challenged, and having fun.