Animal Genius (Leapster)
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's nothing to worry about here -- and kids will learn a great deal about animals. Parents will appreciate the voiceovers that identify all animals and words, making it easy even for non-readers to learn.
What's it about?
Kids who play Leapster's ANIMAL GENIUS will learn about animals' habitats, characteristics, and behavior -- it's rare to find a game that makes learning science so much fun. This software works so well because it combines a fun quest -- winning 25 animals -- with innovative science games that kids will want to play. The object is to populate five habitats -- Grasslands, Arctic, Rainforest, Woodlands, and Ocean -- with five animals each. To win the animals, kids must play four games to win points and correctly answer questions about the desired animals.
Is it any good?
The games play off of kids' natural affinity for mazes, "I Spy"-type games, and hidden-pictures activities. Music, interesting voices, and wacky facts help sustain kids' interest. But the real hook is the use of photorealistic material along with animations. For added interest, the software also randomly triggers an "Animal Alert" that sends players scrambling through each of the habitats to find an animal that's wandered into the wrong habitat.
Parents will appreciate the voiceovers that identify all animals and words, making it easy for even non-readers to learn.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about which games are the most fun. They might also want to plan an off-screen animal adventure to the zoo (or the library) so that kids can show off their knowledge -- and enhance it.