LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Disney-Pixar Cars 2

Common Sense Media says

Spy learning adventure has fun mini-games, one with guns.

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Just like the Cars 2 movie, the game emphasizes the importance of friendship and of being yourself.

Positive role models

Mater displays the qualities of a good friend. Lightning McQueen plays a less prominent role in the game, but he also shows that you should support your friends. 

Ease of play

Each of the mini-games includes clear instruction and gentle prompting/correction for incorrect answers. Some of the games have multiple tasks, which younger kids may find confusing.

Violence & scariness

One of the cars shoots at Finn McMissile and Mater during one of the mini-games. The cars aren't really damaged, but it slows them down in the car race. There is also a mini-game that involves saving Mater from the gears in Big Ben. Although he's not in danger (he saves himself if kids make a mistake), some kids might be nervous about letting him fall. 

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is based on the Disney-Pixar Cars 2 movie which also has related games, books, toys, and other products.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Disney-Pixar Cars 2 is an educational game for the Leapster Explorer and LeapPad Explorer game systems. Kids unlock 8 mini-games by driving Mater around Radiator Springs.  Each mini-game replicates a scene from the Cars 2 movie while seamlessly incorporating learning activities. In one racing game, cars are shot at by competitors, but no one is hurt. The game relies mostly on kids' math skills and less on the ability to handle the controls, so this may be a good choice for kids who are newer to handheld gaming. That said, the problem-solving activities can be challenging and require the ability to follow multiple directions.

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What's it about?

LEAPFROG EXPLORER LEARNING GAME DISNEY-PIXAR CARS 2 for the Leapster Explorer and the LeapPad is based on the plot of Cars 2 movie. Kids drive Mater around a track in Radiator Springs collecting spare car parts, and chatting with other cars along the way. As Mater shares the story with the cars he meets, kids unlock each of 8 mini-games that include spy activities and races. There are 8 mini-games/plot points. American Spy car Finn McMissile infiltrates the enemy ship and takes pictures of their leader cars. Finn and Mater are chased by an enemy car and must try to slow the car down. Mater needs to crack a code. More enemy car chasing. Finn has to determine the distance to another ship and choose the best grappling hook for the job. Mater is diguised and needs your help keeping him undercover. Mater needs you help to escape from the gears in Big Ben. And lastly, Lightning relives the final race in the movie.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Disney-Pixar Cars 2 is, for the most part, a great pairing of entertaining content and learning activities with the allure of acting out the part of a spy. Some of the mini-games are more educational than others, but they will definitely make kids feel like they are a part of the spy action. The one real flaw of the game is that the 8 mini-games need to be unlocked by driving Mater around Radiator Springs. It's cute at first, but the characters start to repeat themselves (especially Lightning McQueen), and the road all looks the same which can be boring. Picking up spare parts loses appeal quickly as well. Once the games are unlocked, kids can access them from the a separate menu for replay. Some kids may enjoy playing the mini-games over and over, while other may just aim to complete the game. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about friendship. What makes a good friend? 

  • Do you think gun violence is a problem in a learning game for young children?

Game details

Platforms:LeapPad Explorer, Leapster Explorer
Price:$24.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:LeapFrog
Release date:July 5, 2011
Genre:Edutainment
Topics:Cars and trucks
ESRB rating:NR for (LeapPad Explorer, Leapster Explorer)

This review of LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Disney-Pixar Cars 2 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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