LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Disney Phineas and Ferb
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Disney Phineas and Ferb is an action game that helps kids explore science and technology concepts. The game involves Phineas, Ferb, Perry/Agent P, and Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Other popular characters from the TV show do not appear; and there are no female characters in the game. There is some mild violence against robots involving the shooting of water balloons and rotten food. Each of the six levels contains a handful of games/tasks that utilize science and math concepts and puzzle-solving skills. Kids earn power-ups by completing math problems. The game has two difficulty levels.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- solving puzzles
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids will revel in the video-game style and clever puzzles. Once they complete the story, they can go back and replay some of the puzzles or play again at a harder level.
The circuits and logic puzzles bring are a great way to learn, but they're sandwiched between water balloon shoot-'em-up game levels. All the side characters are missing from the game, removing the diversity of the TV cast.
Kids can get the help they need with the puzzles, although they can get stuck. Parents can track kids' progress through the online Learning Path software.
What's it about?
Playing LEAPFROG EXPLORER LEARNING GAME: DISNEY PHINEAS AND FERB is almost like watching an episode of the show of the same name, minus a few key characters. In it, the boys decide to build a water balloon launcher that they can drive around. At the same time, Dr. Doofenshmirtz has created a similar machine that shoots rotten food. Throughout the game, the boys are upgrading their machine and testing it out on some rogue robots. When they aren't looking, Agent P, aka Perry the Platypus, borrows the machine to battle Dr. Doofenshmirtz and his food-slinging robots.
The game has six levels to complete with increasing difficulty, each containing educational mini-games. In the mini-games, kids build the blueprint for the machine using Tangram-style pieces, collect parts for the machine while fighting off robots, complete simple electrical circuits in order to open doors to collect the parts, test the new machine while fighting off robots, and complete \"contraptions\" that allow Agent P to get where he needs to go. While fighting off robots, kids can earn power-ups by completing math problems. The game has two difficulty levels. On more advanced levels, the puzzles are trickier. As an example, on the easy level, the tangram puzzles show the outline of the pieces. On the harder level, there are no outlines.
Is it any good?
Disney Phineas and Ferb is bound to be a hit for fans of the show because they get to experiment and create, just like Phineas and Ferb do on TV. It includes puzzle and arcade-style games, so there is some variety. What little there is to the story feels repetitive, though, as the same thing happens on each level. The game is short enough that older kids may be able to complete it in as little as an hour. Kids who enjoy the shoot 'em action of the arcade games will find them replayable, and they can bump up to the harder level if they have completed the easy one. If you have a child, particularly a boy (as all of the characters are male), who is interested in engineering, this is a good choice. There aren't many games for young kids that explore circuits and logic in this way.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the importance of science and technology. What are some things around your house that require science and technology to design and build? What are some jobs you might have that use science and technology?
Families can also talk about using your imagination to create something new.
Is there always a good guy and a bad guy? How can you tell if someone is "good" or "bad?"