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Children's Toy/Game Review:

Leapster L-Max Learning Game System

Toy/Game Review: Leapster L-Max

 

By Leapfrog

Our Recommended Age: 3-8

Our Rating: A+



about our reviews:
All reviews at Edutaining Kids are independent and impartial. Our children's toy reviews are designed to help parents and caregivers find the right games for their kids. Evaluations and ratings are based on educational and entertainment value, age appropriate content, replay value, and innovative content.

Top Pick Leapster L-Max is an updated Leapster, an innovative product released in 2004 that offered kids the portable gaming experience they want combined with educational games they're better off playing!

The Leapster L-Max is a handheld portable unit that mimics Nintendo's GameBoy, but with important differences that make it not only more kid-friendly, but exceptionally more educational as well. The comparatively large screen is also a touch screen, and kids interact with the games by using a directional pad and an attached stylus. Game cartridges, available separately, offer children "edutaining" games that support learning.

What's the main difference between the Leapster and the Leapster L-Max? Besides a slightly less bulky unit, the L-Max can be played as a portable or can be plugged into the TV and played on both the little and "big" screens.

Another difference is found in the stylus pen, included in both units, which allows kids to interact with the touch screen. When the L-Max is connected to the TV, kids need to place their pen on a hotspot on the screen and then click a button found on the pen. The pen button is not used when kids play the games directly through the portable. It's awkward at first--much like when kids use a computer mouse for the first time--but children adapt to the method quite rapidly.

There are games built in the Leapster L-Max. In order to access them, turn on the L-Max without a cartridge placed into the slot. In most cases, families will be using the L-Max right out of the box and this idea is intuitive. However, those who have also purchased a separate game cartridge at the same time might not realize there are games built into the unit!

The L-Max functions fully as a portable unit that kids can take with them practically anywhere. It runs on 4 AA batteries. Families who want to conserve batteries can purchase an AC Adapter or a Leapster L-Max Recharging System, both sold separately.

Connecting the L-Max to the TV is straightforward using the TV cable included in the box. Games play on the little Leapster screen as well as the TV screen. This feature is a little easier on the eyes and it's a great way for little ones to share their experiences with the rest of the family.

Thoughtful design features are present on the Leapster L-Max as well as the Leapster. One of the most notable features of the L-Max is the very long TV cable. We don't want our kids sitting too close to the TV, and the length of the cable makes it possible to sit a good distance away.

We tested the unit with the game cartridge, Letters on the Loose, which is sold separately. In this game, kids help collect letters who have run away. If you are familiar with the Leapfrog Letter Factory videos, you'll recognize the adorable little alphabet characters in Letters on the Loose. One of the most notable features of the game is the ability to practice writing letters using the stylus pen! Because children love the interactivity of the Leapster L-Max, this feature is especially useful for motivating children who are not very enthusiastic about practicing writing their letters!

 

Our Rating:

 

A+

more information:

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Leapster L-Max at Toys R Us.

Reviewed: October 2005

Comments? Email us

Other Guides, Reviews, & Articles:


see also:

Disney 5-in-1 TV Games Review

Gift Guides for Preschoolers

Fun & Learning with Digital Cameras

 



For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Leapster L-Max at Amazon.com.

 

The New Leapster L-Max

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