Leap TV Video Game System Review (LeapFrog)
The LeapTV active video games console is designed to get minds and bodies moving. It comes with one free set of games, and more are available from the LeapFrog store.
Specifically designed for kids aged 3 to 8, it’s easier for little hands to grip than gaming consoles designed for older children. You even get audio instructions for kids who cannot read yet. Games have different levels according to the child’s age, and the games them active because the console has body motion capture sensors. So let’s take a closer look.
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LeapFrog LeapTV Review Video
LeapTV from LeapFrog – Features
* Interactive gaming system
* 3 modes of play: use body motion, controller or pointer
* Kids can play as themselves or choose a character
* Includes one controller
* Comes with Pet Pad games to download
* Requires 2 AA batteries and a WiFi connection
* Age range: 3-8
The brand name LeapFrog is well known for mixing education with fun in their technological toys. With LeapTV, LeapFrog have moved into the games console market for younger children, challenging the domination of market leaders like Nintendo. This Christmas, kids who get to unwrap a LeapFrog LeapTV Active Video Game System are going to be over the moon!
It’s designed for kids aged 3 to 8, but since it’s specifically designed for kids too young to use an ordinary gaming console, we expect it to be bought mainly for the 3-5 age range. With LeapTV you don’t have to worry about kids becoming couch potatoes – it’s more like a Wii in that it’s a very active system, encouraging them to jump, dance and have plenty of exercise while they play.
This toy was one of Hamleys’ 10 top Christmas toys 2014. There are several modes of play so that kids who don’t yet have sufficient hand co-ordination to use buttons, can use the motion sensor or the pointer for their play. This also gives them modes to work through as they get older, so the system will grow with them. Of course you can also do this by buying new games to match their age range, as they grow.
It comes with one game (or set of games) called Pet Pad that you can download. Then you can pick from hundreds more to order separately from the LeapFrog library. They all have an educational slant, so you can be sure that they’re learning while they play.
You’ll need an internet connection to download all of the games, including Pet Pad – it’s not preloaded, and you have to register a parent account at the LeapFrog games library to get it. It’s easiest with WiF, but if you don’t have a WiFi connection you can connect using an ethernet cable (not included but easy to order, and you may already have one for other equipment).
The educational aspect to the LeapTV games will help kids learn many different subjects, including reading, mathematics and science. They earn points in the games by performing tasks or solving different problems. There are audio instructions in the games designed for younger kids who can’t read yet, and as they advanced in age and skills, they can move to different levels in the games.
You’ll enter the child’s age to start, but LeapFrog recognise that two kids of the same age are not going to be exactly the same, so the games adjust to their learning styles and abilities. As they progress, the game offers them new challenges.
LeapFrog’s LeapTV gaming system uses a motion-sensor like the Wii or Kinect. The controller is well designed for small hands, but if set to body motion mode, they don’t need to hold the controller. There’s a sensor to track their movements and a video camera so they can see themselves on the TV screen.
Of course, the controller can be used with classic A and B buttons like other gaming systems. In pointer play mode, they’ll use the controller but the other way around, moving the whole controller around to play games like bowling.
In the box, you’ll get the controller, camera and mount, a strap to attach the controller to the child’s wrist, and the required cables. You’ll just need to AA batteries to power the controller and, as we’ve said, and an internet connection to download games. You’ll also need a TV to hook it up to!
In summary, the LeapFrog LeapTV console is an excellent introduction to active video games for younger kids. A big hit with children and parents alike.
Published 19 November 2014