A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn early literacy skills such as letter sounds and recognition, word formation, and rhyming. The mix of upper and lowercase letters in such an elementary title detracts somewhat from the otherwise quality activities. Still, the read-along stories with highlighted words and fun accompanying games will help teach and reinforce foundation reading skills. With its focus on fun and literacy, LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Clifford encourages kids to value books and reading.
Emphasis on friendship and learning.
Positive Role Models
All characters are friends, support each other. Emily Elizabeth is a caring pet owner.
Ease of Play
Only uses stylus, with clear directions. Help is available.
Products & Purchases
Based on a popular book, television franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Clifford is aimed at helping preschoolers learn early literacy skills, including letter recognition, letter sounds, rhyming, and word building, through interactions with familiar and friendly characters. It's very similar to a previous LeapFrog title, Clifford Reading. Unlike some other LeapFrog games, this doesn't automatically level progress as kids play. Parents will need to help young players choose an appropriate level (out of three choices) with some guidance from a parent area in the main menu. Although controls are simple, very early readers may be confused by the use of upper and lowercase letters in different parts of the game.
Is It Any Good?
LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Clifford has a lot of great features. It's simple enough for very young kids, with easy controls and clear activities. The games are repetitive but engaging for the preschool set, especially those who are familiar with Clifford. Kids will enjoy unlocking new books to read with Emily Elizabeth and Clifford, and they can read them at any time. In terms of learning, the word-formation activity (the painting game) uses small letters, while the letter-recognition (ship-naming) activity uses capital letters; this isn't ideal. Young kids tend to learn capital letters first, so it's confusing to mix it up, especially when they're exploring how letters come together to form a word. The biggest issue with this title, however, is that it's just too limited. The books add a lot of content, but they're not interactive. Although LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Clifford is a fun game for young readers, it needs another activity or two to make it feel like a full title.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.