A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
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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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
- Platforms: LeapFrog games
- Subjects: Science: animals, biology, plants
Language & Reading: following directions
- Skills: Responsibility & Ethics: learning from consequences, making wise decisions
Thinking & Reasoning: logic, problem solving, solving puzzles
- 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, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Bugs, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Fairy Tales, Great Girl Role Models, Horses and Farm Animals, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: NR
For kids who love learning games
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.