LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Brave

Common Sense Media says

Adventure game challenges your knowledge of flora and fauna.

Age(i)

2
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7
8
9
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game emphasizes the importance of family and of valuing people as they are. It also focuses on righting a wrong.

Positive role models

Merida is the primary focus of the game and she is a character kids will identify with. She doesn't always make the best choices, but cares about her family and tries to do the right thing in the end. There are quite a few occasions where she isn't as polite or kind as she should be. While this is what makes her relatable for kids, it's not always the behavior you would want them to emulate.

Ease of play

The game is easy to follow and, if anything, it gives too many instructions. A hint button prompts kids to follow the next step, but it is possible to get stuck. There were a few moments where the game didn't respond quite as expected, especially in the bow and arrow game. 

Violence & scariness

Despite the level of violence in the film, this title has almost no violence whatsoever. Merida shoots with a bow, but she uses it to get items out of her reach or for target practice. The game glosses over almost every moment of peril and covers it only via voice over. There is one moment where a scary character jumps out unexpectedly if you walk too close to its hiding spot.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is based on a movie and there are a multitude of consumer products related to the characters and the movie. None of the products are emphasized in the game.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Brave is based on the movie of the same name. The story loosely follows that of the film, but focuses more on doing a variety of tasks and exploring the environment. Kids will not find much to be frightened by in this version, so it is a nice choice for younger audiences. They may have trouble understanding the character's accents at times, but the instructions are always clear. Most of the game's activities have an educational focus but they feel incorporated into story. As with the movie, this game includes references to witches and witchcraft, including asking kids to craft a potion.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Science

  • animals
  • biology
  • plants

Hobbies

  • sports

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • problem solving
  • solving puzzles

Responsibility & Ethics

  • learning from consequences
  • making wise decisions

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids will love helping Merida, as the game follows the same journey as the movie. There is a lot to explore, do, and learn in the form of games and puzzles.

Learning Approach

Kids learn by playing biology games and joining Merida in her journeys. The game does a nice job of presenting information in multiple ways to facilitate retention.

Support

Kids will find a generous amount of in-game help, and parents can track their child's progress on the online LeapFrog Learning Path.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Science

  • animals
  • biology
  • plants

Hobbies

  • sports

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • problem solving
  • solving puzzles

Responsibility & Ethics

  • learning from consequences
  • making wise decisions

Kids can learn about biology as they play games that teach about the parts of different plants and animals. They can also learn about habitats, eating habits, and life cycles. The bow and arrow game covers some basic physics as well. LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Brave integrates science learning activities into an engaging gaming format.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christy Matte

Parents say

Kids say

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What's it about?

The Brave LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game follows the story of Merida, a princess who is struggling to understand and get along with her mother. The game begins just after Merida has appealed to a witch for help in changing her fate. The result impacts her whole family in a disastrous way and Merida must find a way to make it right again. The story itself is primarily told through tapestry pictures and voice-overs. The game leads us through Merida's journey, which involves sneaking through the castle, making potions, doing chores, solving puzzles, riding her horse, and shooting her bow and arrow. There are nature-related quizzes and three mini-games. One game involves jumping a horse over obstacles or to collect items. The second has you shooting a bow and arrow to hit a target. The third is to help Merida's brothers through the castle by placing the correctly shaped floor boards down in their path. During the game, players interact with Merida's mother and brothers, as well as the witch.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Brave LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game is fun and educational, but it may not be what kids expect from the outset. They won't be battling bears. Instead, they'll be collecting plants, looking for geodes, and doing nature-related quizzes. The nature quizzes are challenging in content, but involve either matching a group of labels to the appropriate places in a picture or answering a multiple choice question. It would be nice to see two modes of difficulty, as older kids may quickly tire of the game's continual prompting and may prefer the chance to solve puzzles without guidance. The three mini-games are fun to play and kids will enjoy the challenge of collecting certain items to complete a collection and earn badges. It's a great quality title and a bit different from other games we've seen from LeapFrog with a stronger central storyline.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about family and especially parent-child relationships. What happens when you agree? When you don't agree?

  • Families can also talk about why companies make games based on movies. Did you buy this game because you had seen the movie? If you haven't seen the movie, does this game make you want to? How is this game selling to kids?

Game details

Platforms:LeapPad Explorer, LeapPad2, Leapster Explorer
Price:$24.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Not available online
Developer:LeapFrog
Release date:June 27, 2012
Genre:Edutainment
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Brothers and sisters, Bugs, Cats, dogs, and mice, Fairy tales, Great girl role models, Horses and farm animals, Science and nature, Wild animals

This review of LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Brave 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; OK 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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Parent of a 7 year old Written byprayinghands January 6, 2013
AGE
6
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

leapster exploser is so additicting! in a great way though!

I had got my seven year old daughter brave and we both love it! she can learn thing's that school's do and don't focus on it really cover's it bases. she can also do her spelling words on the leapster explorer which is great cause my daughter dislike's homework and it perfect for the kid's to engage in a fun and learning experience. the only thing is I wish that disney would put up a site (Q@A) to help with all the different quest or riddle's that kid's get stuck on! or atleast giving a hint so that the kid's don't fall out of interest with the game like the internet suggest the hint button well my daughter doesn't have it on her's we never seen one funny because it should be on the right top side but for now will wait to see what costumer service say. But it's so hard to wait when this game is so addicting!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use

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