Smart Cycle

Common Sense Media says

A video gaming system that works by bike-riding.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this gaming system is touted as encouraging kids to exercise, only two of the seven activities require the child to pedal. However, all the games are played while sitting on the bike and they are fun and age-appropriate. Kids can pedal even when the game is turned off. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents monitor and limit children to one to two hours of screen time a day.

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Kids say

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What's it about?

SMART CYCLE aims to get kids moving by having them pedal a stationary bike as part of a video gaming experience. The pint-sized bike, which plugs into the A/V jacks of a television, has an adjustable seat and is just the right size for most children ages 3-6. The gaming system inside the bike runs on 4 D batteries; the software is housed in a key-shaped game cartridge that plugs into the side of the bike. The image on the screen looks like what you would see if you were riding down a road, and it moves forward and backward corresponding to your pedaling.

While pedaling to your first game, you're asked to collect letters, numbers, or shapes by steering toward them and running them over. Games include finding letters in a barn, helping a frog to flick out his tongue to collect letter bugs, and matching shapes underwater by popping bubbles. There's also a race that requires you to pedal as fast as you can to cross the finish line. Of seven activities, only two require you to pedal -- the rest use the joystick.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While all these activities are fun and age-appropriate, kids would benefit from more pedaling as they play. Parents need to know that it takes 30 to 45 minutes to assemble the bike, and it uses up batteries fairly quickly. Also, while the educational games offer levels, the games don't save your work so kids must start at level one every time they play.

Parents can breathe new life into this system by buying additional game cartridges for $20 each. For ages 3-5, the choices are Discover the Dinosaurs, Dora the Explorer Friendship Adventure, and Diego's Animal Rescue. For ages 4-6, the selection includes SpongeBob SquarePants Ocean Adventure, Barbie Fairytopia, and Hot Wheels.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how important it is to exercise. Do you like biking outside better than biking on a stationary bike? Which activity did you like best? The racing one? Or one of the other activities?

Game details

Platforms:Plug and Play TV games
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Fisher-Price
Release date:June 1, 2007
Genre:Exergaming
ESRB rating:NR for (Plug and Play TV games)

This review of Smart Cycle was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old Written bytuckersgirl April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

this is so much fun

other than it being my baby brothers i had fun playing it with him!

Adult Written byhelenfern April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A Dud

Fisher price ruined my child's Christmas. This is the only thing my 3 year old wanted from Santa. On X-mas we put it together for him and it had a short (the lights would flicker and than go off). We exchanged at Toys R' Us where we bought it - whiched raised a lot of questions by our 6 year old twins since Santa brought it. Toys R' us did not even blink. Apparantly they had been slammed with Smart Cycle returns due to the same problem. The service counter was piled high with them. We thought that we would try another. This one did the same thing. We ended up just returning it and never bought another one. The employee said that they had gotten even more returned for the same reason. This toy is the biggest dud. I would not waste my money on it.

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