Mission to Planet Leema: Adventure into Grammar

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Mission to Planet Leema: Adventure into Grammar App Poster Image
Brief but fun game is more adventure than grammar practice.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn grammar concepts including identifying parts of speech, complete sentences, fact and option, and cause and effect; however, the game is more for reinforcement than for learning concepts. There's no way to chose which areas of grammar to focus on, and there's no tracking of scores or performance. Kids will see a written description of each grammar concept before answering the quiz questions, and they'll see the correct answer if they answer incorrectly. Though the role-play adventure of Mission to Planet Leema: Adventure into Grammar is an engaging introduction to adventure games and an attractive hook for kids, the grammar isn't integrated well enough for this to be a great learning tool.

Ease of Play

Grammar topics are challenging. Finding the objects for the mission isn't too difficult, and the controls to maneuver work fairly well, though they may take some getting used to.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mission to Planet Leema: Adventure into Grammar is a 3-D role-playing adventure. Kids take on the role of a girl who has landed on Planet Leema and must find a hidden gem. Finding scrolls and letters, completing the missions, and taking grammar quizzes move them closer to the goal. At the time of review, only one mission is included, and it can be completed in about an hour. Though kids will have to do grammar exercises throughout the game, there's no instruction around incorrect answers, and kids likely will see the grammar as a distraction from the "real" game.

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What's it about?

Kids play as Pella, a girl who landed on Planet Leema, which looks more like a medieval-period fishing village than another planet. Her mission in MISSION TO PLANET LEEMA: ADVENTURE INTO GRAMMAR is to find the hidden gem. Pella finds clues on scrolls and in books, completes missions (moving rocks, finding a key), and does grammar exercises, which include a variety of concepts, including capitalization and complete sentences. A map includes hints to help find the objects, and the view can be switched from first-person to third-person. The in-app tutorials explain the controls, but there's not way to save an in-progress game. Kids will start over if they quit before completing the mission.

Is it any good?

At the time of this review, only one mission was included. The excellent graphics and adventure elements could leave kids wanting and waiting for updates to add to the adventure. However, the grammar skills aren't integrated into the mission and are only periodic quizzes that stop the action. Though kids get a brief written explanation of the topic and can see whether their answers are right or wrong, there's no other feedback or instruction. Performance on the grammar quizzes has no impact on continuing the adventure, either. Kids can get every answer wrong, and the game continues as if they were all correct. It's likely the cool factor of the adventure will work against the grammar, which kids might see as a boring distraction.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of grammar in understanding language and meaning. What would happen if there were no grammar rules? Challenge kids to find examples where grammar and usage mistakes cause confusion (there are lists like these on the Internet).

  • Encourage kids to read widely and from a variety of texts and genres so they can internalize grammar.

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